Medicine: Pain in the Foot

Foot doctors began to be called chiropodists in the 18th century — just why is not certain.* Down the years they have winced as though somebody had stepped on their corns when patients mispronounced the first syllable "sheer" or confused them with chiropractors. The bookish among them were bothered, too, to find that H. W. Fowler in his Modern English Usage waspishly called the word chiropodist "a barbarism and a genteelism," added that the normal word for such a practitioner should be "corn-cutter."

Last week the National Association of Chiropodists changed its...

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