Now concentrateBMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7208.494 (Published 21 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:494
- Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist
Dictionaries were originally selective glossaries, often of so called “hard words.” Nowadays, however, we expect them to be comprehensive, from a to zyzzogeton. Nevertheless, occasionally even an established word is omitted. For instance, “liar” was mistakenly omitted from the 1972 edition of Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary and “bondmaid” from the fascicle in the Oxford English Dictionary for which it had been prepared (Battentlie-Bozzom, 1887). I have also read that James Murray omitted “appendicitis” from the first edition of the OED on the advice of Sir William Osler, then regius professor of medicine at Oxford, who said that it was medical jargon that wouldn't last; the word gained currency when, just before he was due to be crowned in 1902, King Edward VII, already on the throne, fell ill and had his inflamed …
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