Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers When I use a word

A medical alphabet

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1598
  1. Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist
  1. Oxford

In the 1720s Jonathan Swift was challenged to the game of combining all the letters of the Greek alphabet with the word “guinea.” He rose to the challenge, using excruciating puns, slang, and hidden words; for example:

α: half a guinea;

κ: I cap a guinea;

σ: I seek my guinea.

Thus was born the first comic phonetic alphabet. However, the idea didn't really catch on until the variety …

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