English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question already has an answer here:

The word setup (as a noun), I feel, has become an acceptable part of the English language, at least insofar as technical manuals or computer textbooks are concerned. However I find that the word is used very often in verb form like so:

"You can setup the program quite easily ..."

when in fact my understanding is that the actual sentence should be:

"You can set up the program quite easily ..."

I would like to know if setup can be used as a verb. The situation seems be very similar to the word output (as a noun). Output is a purely technical word and its use is restricted solely to technical texts or at least in a technical context within non-technical books. However it is also used in verb form now like so:

"The system will output the signal ..."

I would be very grateful if this question is answered. Thank you

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by mplungjan, RegDwigнt Jun 26 '13 at 9:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/set_up: verb, en.wiktionary.org/wiki/setup: noun. Illiteracy is a thing, so are typos. That is all. – RegDwigнt Jun 26 '13 at 9:13

I suspect the use of "setup" as a verb - in writing - is mostly due to laziness, not wanting to add a space.

Consider pronunciation though. When I speak, at least, "setup" comes out more quickly and the emphasis is on the e. When I say "set up", it's a bit slower because of the word separation and the emphasis is on the u, if anywhere. Do you hear that as well in conversation?

In any case, grammatically, I find no version of "setup" that could be used as a verb, and all the dictionaries I've checked so far have it down as a noun.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.