1917 Journal of the American Medical Association  
concerned, is that the courts can always apply the general method of measurement that is commonly used by them in determining the meaning of other defining words. This method consists in the use of the mean¬ ing commonly accepted by the masses of the people. For example, if the word "pure" as applied to water means "free from sewage" in the minds of the masses of the people, and this feeling is so strong that the masses of the people prefer to drink a water free from sewage to a water that has
more » ... o a water that has been contaminated with sewage, the courts will accept this attitude of the people as a proper means of determining the sig¬ nificance of the word "pure" as applied to water. The degree of importance that must be attached to the ele¬ ment of decency as it relates to any particular thing can at any time be determined by testing public senti¬ ment on this subject. What attitude should the leaders in public health science take with regard to decency as a public health factor? Shall they encourage the development of the sense of decency on the part of the public as a desir¬ able thing, and as something that can be applied to public and private environment, and to food and drink, in a way so practical that a reasonable degree of decency can be enforced by public officials? Or shall the leaders in public health science conclude that decency is academic, and that the esthetic sense has no place in the list of considerations on which the activi¬ ties of public health officials are based? If health means more than life, if health includes the enjoyment of life, if health is to include the enjoyment of one's environment, and the enjoyment of things one eats and drinks, then public health administration cannot ignore the demands of common decency in the steps that it takes to safeguard public health. The progress of the people toward better things seems to be constantly marked by improved sanitation. Public sanitation and private sanitation contribute directly and indirectly in so many ways to better liv¬ ing, better thinking and better working that they seem to be an essential part of the process of development. Whether or not the workers in public health science recognize decency as an important factor in public health science, the common people themselves have already given decency such recognition. The reason the instinct for cleanliness and decency has developed with the race is that these contribute in a marked degree to the satisfaction of living. If public health includes anything more than the element of safety, then decency for its own sake deserves a place in the catalogue of public health administrators. 30 Church Street. Marching.-While the present war especially in the western regions has involved much trench fighting, besieging, etc., it must be borne in mind that marching still occupies much of the soldier's time, much more than does combat. This is clearly seen in the Russian campaigns. For this reason it is of prime importance that the soldier be able to march well. The general public have a mistaken idea of the length of a heavy march, the tendency being to place the estimate alto¬ gether too high. A fair day's marching for any army is 12 miles. The strenuousness of the march depends to a large extent on the size of the marching force. A good day's march consists of IS miles while 20 constitutes a forced march. Quick time for the English armies consists in about 120, 30-inch steps per minute, which gives 100 yards per minute. From 2Vz to 3 miles per hour is good marching. It takes a brigade six hours to march IS miles while a division needs eight for the same distance.-Hygiene and War, by George
doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590420009003 fatcat:blgspx4linbmff4wywmcph5efa