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Feature Christmas 2014: Found in Translation

English as she is mis-spoke, misread, and miswrote—or, why you should read before you sign

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 18 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7344
  1. Suresh Ramnath, clinical assistant professor
  1. 1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5338, USA
  1. Correspondence to: S Ramnath ramnaths{at}

Suresh Ramnath shares some of his favorite transcription errors

Over the years, I have been amused by how my neurosurgical notes were transcribed. “Losing conciseness” occurs when you descend into a “sinkable episode,” sometimes with loss of “conscientiousness.” It can be accompanied by disorders of “morality of sensation,” such as loss of “radiation.” Some patients describe a “puritan” sensation.

Many are “neurotically” intact but have pain in the “psychiatric nerve.” Examination is confounded by ulnar “innovated” muscles “immutable” to surgical “enervation.” These changes can be “post-dramatic” in patients …

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