BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 21 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1596
  1. James McCormick, professora
  1. a Department of Community Health and General Practice, Trinity College, Dublin 2

    Sloth is an ugly word, one of the ugliest in the language. It has the great virtue of being underused. How many times have you said it, read it, or heard it in the past year?

    Sloth is a sin because it does not take a fair share of the washing up. “Find yourself something to do dear, find yourself something to do.” Those of us old enough to have had adolescents at home have little difficulty in remembering the rage induced by their extraordinary ability to lie abed until lunch time.

    Sloth does not have many entries in the Oxford Book of Quotations. Among them are George Herbert:

    O England, full of sin but most of sloth; Spit out …

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