Intended for healthcare professionals

Soundings Soundings

Speech that irritates

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:507
  1. George Dunea, attending physician
  1. Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA

    Professors of medicine exposed to case presentations by generations of house officers might be forgiven if they eventually develop an aversion to certain overused expressions. Perhaps most annoying among these is the constant use of “multiple,” which has completely replaced the older English adjectives “few,” “several,” and “many.” In the context of a skimped medical history, “multiple operations” means more than one, less than 20, nobody knows, nobody bothered to ask, and …

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