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June 1953

RX for Medical Writing.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1953;85(6):753-754. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1953.02050070770024

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This is a book of 103 pages. Less than one-half deals with writing, the rest deals with economics of illustration, statistics, abbreviations, proof reader's marks, weights and measures, temperature equivalents, international atomic weights, and other useful but secondary material.

On the title page is the advice of Horace on the art of poetry: "Quidquid praecipies esto brevis." The authors do not mention him or obey him too well.

One of them, Jordan, takes responsibility for most of the book; Shepard, a medical artist, wrote the chapter on medical illustration.

The object of the book is to give some practical help to medical writers. In the first paragraph of the preface they say: "Good writing is one part inspiration and nine parts perspiration." They do not mention that Edison said this of genius.

We should expect a medical artist to have in mind the epigram of Michelangelo: "Trifles make perfection, and

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