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I'm usually perplexed on whether it is the better usage of "case history". The following sentences shown three different way to handle this phrase:

a) In discussing the case's history, you assert that the hospital "remained neutral." []

b) How he flees to the police as a man seeking asylum and how the doors of his addled subconscious are finally opened by the patient gnomes in the Palais de Justice, make up the bulk of M. Simenon's frightening case-history. Readers who are upset by Gallic frankness should back away from that case-history at all costs. []

c) Presented as the case history of a standard homosexual, this novel adds little that is new to a groaning shelf. Mr. Vidal's approach is coldly clinical: there is no real attempt to involve the reader's emotions. []

Anybody know which is the better choice: "case history", "case's history" or "case-history"? Or are there differences in meaning?

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closed as not a real question by simchona, Mahnax, MετάEd, FumbleFingers, tchrist Sep 2 '12 at 0:15

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Better choice? You just gave three different contexts. –  simchona Jun 21 '12 at 22:50
    
Probably, you are trying saying that they aren't interchangeable. But I haven't seen any cases where they was interchangeable. @simchona –  user19148 Jun 21 '12 at 23:01
    
Your link for the second example goes to the same page as the first. The third link is dead for me, since I'm not a subscriber to the relevant site. Whatever - case-history is at the very least unusual; the other two usages are in different contexts, but are both fine. –  FumbleFingers Jun 21 '12 at 23:29
    
A person may have a "case history" which amounts to a compilation of all the cases that have been brought against him. A "case's history" refers to the record of events for that particular case. –  Jim Jun 21 '12 at 23:37
    
@carlo because they mean different things. No one is "best" –  simchona Jun 21 '12 at 23:44
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1 Answer

There's no doubt that case history is the correct choice here. Both b) and c) are the metaphorical sense of:

case history: a record of a person’s background or medical history kept by a doctor or social worker.

Exhibit A, in contrast, is referring to the history of a legal case.

The example (b) looks like over-eager use of the hyphen by a non-native speaker.

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