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Reading: Hypsarhythmia or Hypsarrhythmia?

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Editorial

Hypsarhythmia or Hypsarrhythmia?

Authors:

John J. Millichap,

Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
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J. Gordon Millichap

Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
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Abstract

Hypsarhythmia was originally spelled with one ‘r’ by Drs Frederick and Erna Gibbs when they coined the term in 1952.
How to Cite: Millichap, J.J. and Millichap, J.G., 2015. Hypsarhythmia or Hypsarrhythmia?. Pediatric Neurology Briefs, 29(8), p.64. DOI: http://doi.org/10.15844/pedneurbriefs-29-8-7
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  Published on 07 Sep 2015
 Accepted on 28 Aug 2015            Submitted on 25 Aug 2015

Hypsarhythmia was originally spelled with one ‘r’ by Drs Frederick and Erna Gibbs when they coined the term in 1952 [1]. 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 [4]. The two ‘r’ spelling eventually became convention in the literature by the mid-1970s (Figure 1).

Figure 1 

Google Ngram Viewer: Book text search for case-insensitive ‘Hypsarrhythmia’ (blue line) and ‘Hypsarhythmia’ (red line) from 1950-2008 in English. [Cited August 31 2015.] Available from: https://goo.gl/sJI1uG

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.

Disclosures

The author(s) have declared that no competing interests exist.

References

  1. Gibbs, FA and Gibbs, EL (1952). Atlas of Electroencephalography. Reading (MA): Addison-Wesley. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/768435492. 

  2. 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]  

  3. 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]  

  4. 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 

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