ROBERT P. HUDSON, M.D.
English, the richest of languages, constructs some 1 million words from a mere 40 sounds. From the same sounds, I am told, we could easily make a million more—a terrifying thought in many ways. Language generally is seen as man's chief advantage over what we called the lower animals before someone discovered that cockroaches likely would survive a nuclear holocaust that destroyed all of man's kind.
But language is not pure blessing. Aldous Huxley theorized that another characteristic unique to man—his periodic compulsion to slaughter large numbers of his kind—would not be possible without language (1). And indeed it is
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
HUDSON RP. Medical Writing and Webster's Third. Ann Intern Med. 1969;71:435–438. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-71-2-435
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1969;71(2):435-438.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only