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June 1981

Correct Use of 'Ectopy'

Author Affiliations

Augusta, Ga

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(7):958. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340070138032

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To the Editor.  —In the interest of unambiguous writing, I must decry the current tendency to convert adjectives into nouns and then to use them without proper modifiers. For example, the word "ectopy," in the phrase "eradication of ventricular ectopy," as used by Rosen et al in their editorial about the treatment of ventricular dysrhythmia in the November Archives (1980;140:1419-1421), conveys a meaning that is perhaps different than intended by the authors. The noun, "ectopy," is defined as the congenital malposition of an organ or its parts. The use of this word as a substitute for the term "ectopic beats" or "ectopic pacemakers" falls into the category of jargon and should be avoided.

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