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August 1966

Apostrophitis and Other Diseases

Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;76(2):160-161. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.03850010162002

Admission to the "fellowship of educated men and women" is a perquisite of the bachelor's degree in the arts and sciences. The award of this degree implies that the recipient is able to write and spell correctly in English and often in one or more other languages. Yet readers of medical manuscripts and even of published articles may sometimes wonder whether the degree of doctor of medicine nullifies this requirement, emancipating the erstwhile bachelor from the exigencies of grammar, syntax, and style.

In daily speech and informal writing certain solecisms achieve by repeated usage a state of acceptance which overwhelms the traditional form. "Like" for "as" (Winstons taste good), "less" for "fewer," and "whose" for "of which" have become too deeply rooted for forcible extirpation, even if this were desirable. One can only help the ancient forms to survive in writing of greater elegance than that of the mass media.

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