Letters

Brave new technologies issue

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7252.51 (Published 01 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:51

November (with apologies to Thomas Hood)

  1. James A S Dickson, retired consultant paediatric surgeon (j.a.s.dickson@sheffield.ac.uk)
  1. Sheffield S10 4GR
  2. Tranent EH33 2JX
  3. Mayday Hospital, Croydon, Surrey CR7 7YE
  4. London NW11 7TE
  5. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU
  6. Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1JG
  7. Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB
  8. 50 East Sample Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33064-3552, USA
  9. Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD
  10. Avon Health Authority, King Square House, Bristol BS2 8EE

    No sun—no moon!

    No morn—no noon!

    No dawn—no dusk!

    No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds—November.

    No scientific editorials—no news!

    No papers—no book reviews!

    No letters, no fillers, no obits,

    Minerva alone to serve our wits.

    No proper time of day,

    No proper BMJ.

    November 13th brought no satisfaction.1

    Please not again—no repetition!

    References

    1. 1.

    Noble but dismal

    1. Keith J Russell, general practitioner (drkjr@compuserve.com)
    1. Sheffield S10 4GR
    2. Tranent EH33 2JX
    3. Mayday Hospital, Croydon, Surrey CR7 7YE
    4. London NW11 7TE
    5. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU
    6. Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1JG
    7. Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB
    8. 50 East Sample Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33064-3552, USA
    9. Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD
    10. Avon Health Authority, King Square House, Bristol BS2 8EE

      EDITOR—Oh dear! The special issue on new technologies in medicine … what can I say?1

      Noble, brave, trendy—but dismally uninteresting.

      Unreadable. Contentless. Annoying.

      Still, the paper makes for useful you-know-what in the smallest room in the house.

      References

      1. 1.

      Someone should be sacked

      1. Theo Fenton, consultant paediatrician (Theofenton@compuserve.com)
      1. Sheffield S10 4GR
      2. Tranent EH33 2JX
      3. Mayday Hospital, Croydon, Surrey CR7 7YE
      4. London NW11 7TE
      5. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU
      6. Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1JG
      7. Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB
      8. 50 East Sample Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33064-3552, USA
      9. Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD
      10. Avon Health Authority, King Square House, Bristol BS2 8EE

        EDITOR—The BMJ of 13 November is dreadful.1 It is almost impossible to read because the text has been overlaid by absurd pictures on almost every page. To start asking readers of bmj.com about readability v appraisability completely misses the point when the corresponding paper version is totally unreadable. Just because you can put background graphics on each page doesn't mean that you should. Just because you can use different typefaces, font sizes, and colours of type doesn't mean that you should. Did any of the editorial staff watch the spoof news series The Day Today, in which increasingly absurd graphics were used for each news item? Such graphics distract the reader from the meaning and don't enhance it.

        Perhaps the staff hopes that nobody will want the paper version any more and that only a web version is required? Well, I don't want a paper version like the monstrosity of 13 November. I want my familiar old BMJ, with the obituaries, letters, Minerva, etc, all instantly to hand. I'll curl up in bed with this. I wouldn't even allow the gaudy new version into my bedroom.

        The new version seems to have dozens more advertisements, is too thick to bind, and contains innumerable …

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