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Tower of Babel 1962

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(3):375-381. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620210099017.
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I am well aware that my skirmishes with those who write appalling English can hardly hope to be more than delaying actions, rear-guard gestures made while we retreat, regroup, and fall back again before the melancholy lava flow of fearful writing. Despite the inevitable feeling of sadness this evokes, I was pleased that a number of friends and colleagues, vexed by the boorishness of so much medical "communication," sent letters of encouragement or sympathy, and illustrations of their favorite linguistic miscarriages, after seeing the "Tower of Babel 1961." It occurred to me that it might be worth presenting an interval note about some of the anguish-producing blunders and infelicities. Perhaps this might be a recurring or annual ceremony of expiation or atonement to show that there are still pilgrims, moving against the current of the throng on the troubled road, who hope to get a glimpse of a great excellency.


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