Medicine: Plain English Diction

"Every morning a long file of black soldiers in white pajamas used to approach the laboratory down the avenue of palm-trees. Each bore before him a bedpan decently shrouded in a 'cloth, distinctive.' They were the inmates of the dysentery ward bearing their daily offerings."

This gutty description, which introduces a technical discussion of tropical amoebae, comes from the distinguished pages of the oldest medical journal in the English language. It is a fair sample of the unvarnished style and the deadpan humor that mark the weekly Lancet as the sprightliest and most outspoken...

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