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The origins of our medical vocabulary are too often ignored. If more interest in the subject were encouraged, many of the philological absurdities which punctuate our "literature" would be avoided.
It may be argued that preciseness in the use of words is unnecessarily fussy; but it should be remembered that a word has only one excuse for its existence and that is its meaning. Violate its meaning and you snuff out its life—a crime for which Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the word "verbicide." It may also be complained that to have to learn the derivation of medical terms is to
Medical Etymology, The History and Derivation of Medical Terms for Students of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing.. Ann Intern Med. 1949;31:530–531. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-31-3-530
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1949;31(3):530-531.
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