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J R Soc Med. 2006 February; 99(2): 55.
PMCID: PMC1360485

Death to all clichés?

Robert L Bratman, Retired gynaecologist

About the article by Ian Forgacs on clichés (December 2005 JRSM1), may I respectfully disagree, for surely Dr Forgacs you jest! In my years teaching medical students and house officers (at Stanford University in California) I found that the aphorism (which I prefer to cliché) `common things happen commonly' was very useful in pointing out to the fledgling doctors that the first, but not the only, diagnosis one entertains is the most common. As with your other examples, what I suspect you were railing about is the tendency for many of us to speak in tongues, when we should say what we mean, and mean what we say.


1. Forgacs I. Death to all clichés. J R Soc Med 2005;98: 554. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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