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To the Editor.
—There was a time, back when America had its own century, when "fitting" was an activity of bespoken tailors and "seizing" was something that happened to the Sudetenland. Verbalization has irretrievably confounded these words, but there may still be a chance to quash the epileptic agglutination, "new-onset seizures."The phrase "new onset" was in use as early as 1535, according to the Oxford English Dictionary—"onset" referring to assaulting or attacking an enemy. "New-onset" seizures, then, properly refers to ictal combat rather than the "beginning-starting" of epilepsy. For those who insist on ornamenting "onset," "the recent onset of seizures" avoids the taint of tautology.If "new-onset" is not stopped at the seizure threshold, the exact same thing will soon overtake headaches and strokes.
Keane JR. New-Onset Stultiloquence. Arch Neurol. 1990;47(5):502. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530050016005
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