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November 1958

Recurrent Maladies in Scholarly Writing.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(5):847-848. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260220163021

Voices of criticism crying in the wilderness against empty words and sterile style are a traditional occupational tic of editors and critics. There are many examples of this, and one certainly appropriate to medical writing today is a quotation from Matthew Arnold's Preface to the 1853 edition of his poems, in which there is the following statement:

"The confusion of the present times is great, the multitude of voices counselling different things bewildering, the number of existing works capable of attracting a young writer's attention and of becoming his models, immense: what he wants is a hand to guide him through the confusion, a voice to prescribe to him the aim which he should keep in view, and to explain to him that the value of the literary works which offer themselves to his attention is relative to their power of helping him forward on his road towards this aim.

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