Semantics in Specifications for Drugs

  • Lester Chafetz
Part of the Progress in Analytical Chemistry book series (PAC)


Several years ago I had a cousin who worked at the William Alanson White Institute for Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology here in New York. I met several of her friends from work on occasional visits here. When they asked what I did for a living, I replied that I was an analyst. This made me one of the gang, and sometimes I could carry through an entire evening without it being discovered that I was our kind of analyst. Everyone understood what “analyst” meant, but their extensional meaning differed considerably from mine. Each of us has a personal interpretation of words. To communicate we have to arrive at a common understanding of these terms, and failure to do this has led to enormous confusion in the area of drug specifications, our topic here. Usually, the precise meaning of a word becomes clear from its context in a lecture situation, where one talks and another listens. Our problems with semantics are most acute in the give-and-take of committee work.


Common Understanding Blue Tetrazolium Panel Discussion Precise Meaning Committee Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lester Chafetz
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Research and Development Labs.Warner-Lambert Research InstituteMorris PlainsUSA

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