Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
While we are on the subject of "ptysis" we should not forget
"melanoptysis", defined in 'Crofton & Douglas' as "treacly black
sputum resulting from expectoration of the contents of necrotic massive
fibrosis of coalminers". This must be quite uncommon nowadays, as it has
been replaced by "capnoptysis", the usual coloured product of a smoker's
morning cough (from the Greek "capnos"= smoke, tobacco). Now, this is
another handy neologism for our history-taking.
Seaton A, Seaton D & Leitch AG. Crofton & Douglas's Respiratory
Diseases. 4th Ed., Blackwell, Oxford 1989, p. 107.