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I was doing a small piece of language translation in Google Translate, and it detected the use of "thankyou" in the text and asked "do you mean - thank you".

Is the single word version - thankyou - an aberration?

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It's not even non-standard. It's a mistake/not acceptable. –  Mitch Aug 29 '11 at 14:35
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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Thank you is a sentence. If you want to use one word, thanks is acceptable. However, thankyou is not acceptable as a single word.

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it's inconsistent though: goodbye is one word while thankyou is not. –  Rob Sedgwick Feb 26 at 9:21
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Thankyou is not a word; hence unacceptable. Also it looks illiterate, because literate people know how to spell "thank you".

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Still, highly literate Anglophones do make this mistake a lot! –  Lisa Aug 24 '11 at 0:04
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Thankyou for that comment, Lisa. –  Richard A Aug 24 '11 at 3:32
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No, thankyou is not an aberration. It just has a different definition.

  • thank you (verb to thank, direct object you) — this is how you say thank you. Essentially short for "I thank you".
  • thank-you or thankyou (noun) — an act of thanking. As in: "He gave a big thankyou for..."; "There were thank-yous all around".
  • thank-you or thankyou (modifier before a noun) — as in "a thankyou card".

For the noun and modifier forms, most dictionaries seem to prefer the hyphenated thank-you, but also list thankyou as a valid alternative form.

Sources: Wiktionary, Dictionary.com.

But Merriam-Webster only lists the hyphenated form, not the single-word form.

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Only wiktionary gives 'thankyou' as a possibility; that only reduces my trust in wiktionary rather than increase my acceptance of ..the non-hyphenated version of 'thank-you'. –  Mitch Aug 29 '11 at 14:37
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The Dictionary.com link is to its page for "thankyou". Also I have personally seen it written "thankyou" many times. Going from hyphenated to single-word is a valid path that many compound words have taken. I don't know when a common misspelling crosses the line to become a valid alternative form? –  callum Aug 29 '11 at 14:50
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That particular page at dictionary.com looks like it was created by an automatic process. Anyway, it could be adopted eventually, but in my (fairly loose) standard, it really looks like a mistake. It's hard...is 'wierd' acceptable? I think not, but I could be...mistaken. –  Mitch Aug 29 '11 at 15:19
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