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March 2, 1963


Author Affiliations

Los Altos, Calif.

JAMA. 1963;183(9):808. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700090128036

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To the Editor:  —I have heard that of all the editorial virtues, stylistic consistency is to be prized the most highly. I wish to compliment you on your consistency in misspelling "hypsarrhythmia" (28 times) throughout the article, "Infantile Spasms, Hypsarhythmia [sic] and Mental Retardation" (JAMA182:523-527 [Nov 3] 1962) and on the cover.What happened to the missing "r"?[This curious phenomenon is apparently a case of following the leader. The word was introduced into the literature by Gibbs and Gibbs in 1952 as "hypsarhythmia," meaning "a high arrhythmia." The word has found its way into only one medical dictionary so far, where it is spelled with a double "r." Throughout the electroencephalographic literature, however, where it appears frequently, only one "r" is used. This fact would seem to be rather curious to us, in view of the spelling rules we remember, so we referred the entire matter to

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