I'm about to leave town for a two-week business/vacation trip "down under," so there will be a delay in my postings until I return. Before departing, though, I thought I'd post a list of common language-related mistakes made by residents (and authors). This list is by no means complete, but deals with some of the more common errors I encounter. I continue to revise this list and present this to our new residents each year.
Words ending in "ly" are NEVER hyphenated. Hyphens are used with compound adjectives. The topic is admittedly complex. Consult "compound adjectives" in Wikipedia. All of the following are correct:
"poorly differentiated carcinoma"
"the carcinoma is well differentiated."
"A 20-year-old man"
"He is 20 years old."
Most immunostains should not be capitalized. The following are correct:
S100 protein ( not S100 )
CD117 reacts to the protein product KIT, not the RNA, c-kit.
Recognize the difference between a reagent named for the actual antibody and one named for the antigen to which it reacts. One stains "with" and the other stains "for."
"data" is plural, "datum" is singular
"it's" is ONLY a contraction for "it is;" "its" is the possessive of it (no apostrophe)
Don't say, "we feel the diagnosis is.." Feeling is not a cognitive function. Say, "We believe, we consider, we interpret, etc."
Verbs must agree with the subject of the sentence not the noun in a nearby preposition or subordinate clause. The following are correct:
"The author, along with many others," believes that..... (subject "author" -> "believes," not believe).
The noun is "mucus." The adjective is "mucous."
"septa" is plural, "septum" is singular, "septae" is not a word.
"trabecula" is singular, "trabeculae" is plural. Trabeculum is something different.
"reticulin" is the silver-positive material seen with a light microscope. "reticulum" is an ultastructural feature, as in "endoplasmic reticulum."
"exenteration" is the removal of organs. "exhoneration" is a legal pardon.
Pathologists study "direction of differentiation." "Cell of origin" or "histogenesis" can be inferred but not proven.
"Revealed" is an over-used word. Revelations come from deities.
"thyroid," "parathyroid," "pituitary" and "adrenal" are adjectives and should always be followed by "gland." Admittedly, this is often ignored, but it shouldn't be.
"whirled" means to revolve rapidly. "whorled" is a spiraled or twisted pattern (the one you want to use!)
"centrolobular" is in the middle of a lobule. "centrilobular" is not a word.
"bronchioloalveolar" is a form of lung carcinoma. "bronchoalveolar" and "bronchioalveolar" are not correct.
"lumen" is singular. "lumina" is plural (not lumens, which is a measure of brightness).
"human papillomavirus" is correct, NOT "human papilloma virus"
"peri-" means around, as in perilobular "para-" means beside, next to, or near, as in parathyroid
Sentences that begin with "There" still require subject-verb agreement.
"There is" only works if the subject is singular, otherwise it's "There are..."
"There is no jobs".... is not correct! (the subject is "jobs.")
"concerning" means regarding. Tumors are "of concern" for malignancy or "worrisome" for malignancy, but "concerning for malignancy" should be avoided.
"ileum" is part of the small bowel. "ilium" is a bone.
There is only one "nose," which is composed of the left and right "nares" (singular = naris). There is no left nose, thought there is a left side of the nose.
There is only one thyroid gland; it has left and right (and pyramidal) lobes.
The engulfment of lymphocytes in Rosai-Dorfman disease is called "emperipolesis" and not "emperipoiesis."
A "papillary microcarcinoma" is NOT the same as a "micropapillary carcinoma."
.....I'm sure you can think of MANY more common errors.