Issues of Terminology

In 1999, the Terminologia Anatomica (TA) replaced the Nomina Anatomica as the international standard for anatomical terminology. I have updated the terminology in this edition accordingly, except in cases where TA terminology is, as yet, so unfamiliar that it may be more a hindrance than a help for an introductory anatomy course. For example, I use the unofficial femur rather than the official os femoris or femoral bone.

The TA no longer recognizes eponyms, and I have avoided using them when possible and practical (using tactile disc instead of Merkel disc, for example). I do introduce common eponyms parenthetically when a term is first used. Some eponyms are, of course, unavoidable (Alzheimer disease, Golgi complex) and in some cases it still seems preferable to use the eponyms because of familiarity and correlation with other sources that students will read (for example, Schwann cell rather than neurilemmo-cyte).

I follow the recommendation of the American Medical Association Manual of Style (ninth edition, 1998) to delete the possessive forms of nearly all eponyms. There are people who take offense at the possessive form Down's syndrome and yet may be equally insistent that Alzheimer's disease be in the possessive. The AMA has grappled with such inconsistencies for years, and I accept

Saladin: Anatomy & I Front Matter I Preface I I © The McGraw-Hill

Physiology: The Unity of Companies, 2003 Form and Function, Third Edition its recommendation that the possessives be dropped whenever possible. I make exception for a few cases such as Broca's area (which would be awkward to pronounce without the 's) and I retain the possessive form for natural laws (Boyle's law).

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