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I'm writing my thesis about finding paths in certain graphs but have run into a spelling problem... Is the correct word "pathfinding", "path finding" or "path-finding"? My spellcheck does not think "pathfinding" is correct and suggests "path finding" or "path-finding" (however the wikipedia article on the subject is called "pathfinding"...). I can't find any definite source on which spelling is to be preferred?

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James Feminore Cooper wrote a famous American book called The Pathfinder (one word) in 1840. I can find "pathfinding" (one word) in Google books starting in the 1870s. I think you're fine, and your spellchecker is ignorant. – Peter Shor Sep 19 '11 at 13:15
up vote 1 down vote accepted

What is "correct" in English is really defined by what is commonly used and commonly understood. As such I think you're fine with "pathfinding" as it fits both of those criteria.

Having said that it may also be worth checking whether your institution has a style guide that you need to adhere to for your thesis if you're really worried.

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