Clock Referents - AMA Manual of Style

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Clock Referents 

Clock Referents

Correct and Preferred Usage

Roxanne K. Young

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Clock Referents

Occasionally, reference to a locus of insertion, position, or attitude is given in terms of a clock-face orientation, as seen by the viewer (see also 19.1.3, Numbers and Percentages, Use of Numerals, Measures of Time).


The foreign body was observed in the patient’s left eye at 9 o'clock.


The foreign body was observed in the patient’s left eye at the 9-o'clock position.

Note: The terms clockwise and counterclockwise can also be confusing. The point of reference (eg, that of observer vs subject) should be specified if the usage is ambiguous.

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