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Possessive Eponyms in Medical Terminology

editor@kokedit.com

Section 16.2 of the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition, says that the trend is away from making eponyms possessive, adding this:

"The previous (ninth) edition of this manual, the seventh edition of the Council of Science Editors style manual, the Dictionary of Medical Eponyms, and the 27th edition of Stedman’s Medical Dictionary recommend and use the nonpossessive form for eponymous terms. However, the 30th edition of Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary takes an intermediate position, stating, 'The use of the possessive form ending in 's for eponyms is becoming progressively less common, and the entries for eponymic terms in this Dictionary reflect this ongoing change in usage. The Dictionary therefore presents an inconsistent mixture of forms.' One reason for preferring the nonpossessive form is that, although eponyms are possessive nouns using proper names, they are structurally adjectival and should not convey a true possessive sense."

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, ELS (medical editor)

Posted on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 10:38am

Thanks for the additional

Erin Brenner

Thanks for the additional information, Katharine!

Posted on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 1:54pm

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