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Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

hiccough, hiccup

The hiccough spelling is no longer in common use; hiccup is the preferred Canadian spelling for both the noun and the verb.

The verb forms may be written hiccuping or hiccupping, hiccuped or hiccupped. Be consistent within each piece of writing.

  • She hiccupped for hours and hours, with no relief.
  • Jean-Pierre was able to stop my hiccuping with a single glance: it was truly magic!

Write the noun hiccup in the plural when referring to an involuntary spasm resulting in a series of coughlike sounds.

  • She had the hiccups for hours and hours, with no relief.

A hiccup can also refer to a minor difficulty, a temporary interruption or break.

  • After a hiccup in early February, the Vancouver Stock Exchange rallied, making up for previous losses.
  • Even on cold, damp mornings, my old BMW would start without a hiccup.