Hypsarhythmia was originally spelled with one ‘r’ by Drs Frederick and Erna Gibbs when they coined the term in 1952 . They wished to emphasize that “the term applied to a specific type of electroencephalographic abnormality”, and preferred the specific one ‘r’ spelling to avoid confusion with a literal translation of the two ‘r’ Greek root, “mountainous arrhythmia” [2, 3]. The one ‘r’ spelling was the rule in the 1950s-60s . The two ‘r’ spelling eventually became convention in the literature by the mid-1970s (Figure 1).
Although the Editor of Pediatric Neurology Briefs prefers the single ‘r’ spelling in deference to Dr Gibbs, the intended meaning is accepted for both spellings today.
The author(s) have declared that no competing interests exist.
Gibbs, FA and Gibbs, EL (1952). Atlas of Electroencephalography. Reading (MA): Addison-Wesley. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/768435492.
Gibbs, FA (1965). Infantile Spasms and Hypsarrhythmia or Hypsarhythmia. Dev Med Child Neurol Jun 19657(3): 329.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8749.1965.tb10947.x [PubMed]
MacKeith, R (1965). Infantile Spasms and Hypsarrhythmia or Hypsarhythmia. Dev Med Child Neurol Apr 19657(2): 204.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8749.1965.tb10916.x [PubMed]
Millichap, JG and Bickford, RG (1962). Infantile Spasms, Hypsarhythmia, and Mental Retardation. JAMA 182(5): 523–527, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1962.03050440015004