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October 1949

Medical Etymology.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1949;84(4):662. doi:10.1001/archinte.1949.00230040141012

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Dr. Pepper has done a great service to physicians and to medical students in compiling this extremely useful book on the etymology of medical terms. As the author says in the preface, it is not intended to be a dictionary; no roots are analyzed, declensions are not discussed, there are no elaborate discussions of gender. On the contrary, Dr. Pepper sticks strictly to business and for the most part simply gives the meaning of the Latin or Greek word from which a medical term is derived. This is done with true Johnsonian terseness, barring an occasional comment or brief discussion which, indeed, is also worthy of the Great Lexicographer. Of course, the sad part of all this is that the very need of such a vademecum shows the depths to which modern education has fallen. A hundred years ago any second form boy (as Macaulay would have said) deserved and

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