BRENDAN PHIBBS, M.D.
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To the editor: The excellent article by Follansbee and colleagues (1) in the June issue of the Annals is marred by a semantic reptile that should be scotched before it becomes a full-blown viper. I refer to the use of "nonsustained" to describe brief paroxysms of ventricular tachycardia. Other authors have used this same miserable negative definer in the same context, and, unless strenous measures are taken, it may become a permanent and depressing resident of medical terminology. The word for a brief episode is "transient." Please, fellow workers, come back to the English language and the glories of its
PHIBBS B. "Nonsustained": A Semantic Snake. Ann Intern Med. 1980;93:513. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-93-3-513_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(3):513.
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