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In old books, people often use the spelling "to-day" instead of "today". When did the change happen? Also, when people wrote "to-day", did they feel, when pronouncing the word, that it contained two words, rather than a single concept?

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1  
I imagine they felt exactly as I feel when pronouncing "e-mail" as opposed to "email". (Not especially different.) –  Billy Sep 10 '12 at 16:41
    
Thanks, that's a very nice comparison. –  Yuji Sep 11 '12 at 2:14

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Five minutes of research brings...

today
O.E. todæge, to dæge "on (the) day," from to "at, on" (see to) + dæge, dative of dæg "day" (see day). Generally written as two words until 16c., after which it usually was written to-day until early 20c.

Similar constructions exist in other Germanic languages (cf. Du. van daag "from-day," Dan., Swed. i dag "in day"). Ger. heute is from O.H.G. hiutu, from P.Gmc. hiu tagu "on (this) day," with first element from PIE pronomial stem ki-, represented by L. cis "on this side."

The same applies to tomorrow and tonight, at least according to this dictionary.

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Yes, but how did people feel when pronouncing the word(s)? –  jwpat7 Sep 10 '12 at 14:03
5  
They felt a warm thrill of confusion, followed by a space-cadet glow. –  Roaring Fish Sep 10 '12 at 14:38
    
That's to-boldly-day. –  Edwin Ashworth Sep 10 '12 at 15:40

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