Questions about words that are created by combining two or more other words together.

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1
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1answer
256 views

How do I write 'first and second order' properly?

I am writing about first-order and second-order quantities. Should I put one hyphen, as in "first and second-order", or two, as in "first- and second-order". Or should I do something ...
2
votes
2answers
638 views

How to obtain a list of compound words as nouns?

Example: polar bear I can only detect polar as an adjective and bear as a noun. But polar bear is actually a "noun". How do I obtain a free list of such? Another example: hot dog.
1
vote
1answer
393 views

How do I obtain a list of compound words as nouns? [duplicate]

How do I obtain a list of compound words as nouns? Example: polar bear. I can only detect polar as an adjective and bear as a noun. But polar bear is actually a noun. How do I obtain a free list of ...
1
vote
2answers
176 views

“Offence threat” vs. “offensive threat”

I was watching an NBA game. After Omer Asik missed an easy shot, the commentator said that Omer was not much of an offensive threat. I used to say offence threat often. Which usage is more established ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between a “prefix” and a “combining form”?

According to ODO, mini- is classified as a combining form. How exactly is this different from a prefix (or an affix, in general)? Can combining forms also be prefixes?
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Would “pentaminutely” reflect an event that occurs every five minutes?

Would the compound pentaminutely (from penta- and minutely) be correct in describing an event that occurs every five-minutes? Or is there a better word? Edit: For clarity, I'm looking to name an ...
3
votes
5answers
591 views

“Hostname” or “host name”?

When we are talking about computers, I see both hostname and host name being used. Which is more proper? Should I put the space in there?
2
votes
2answers
207 views

Is it acceptable to italicize a compound descriptor instead of hyphenating it?

I'm having a disagreement about how to treat a compound descriptor like "This is one of those everyone-shut-up-and-go-away kind of days." It has been claimed to me that this descriptor can just as ...
3
votes
2answers
610 views

Irregular past tense confusion with compound noun/verb. More examples?

Students of martial arts may be familiar with a breakfall, which can (depending on the situation) be treated as a noun or a verb. I am often amused when speakers, even native English speakers (myself ...
4
votes
1answer
412 views

Hyphenation or blending

Are there any rules when to write a set of two (or more) words or abbreviations forming a name of some entity as separate, when to hyphenate, and when to stick them together? These are my findings ...
2
votes
3answers
272 views

Is it “thousands of postmen and women” or “thousands of postmen and -women”?

Is it "thousands of postmen and women" or "thousands of postmen and -women"? Is the use of a hyphen correct in the latter case?
4
votes
2answers
145 views

“Pay-for” vs. “for-pay”

Is pay-for or for-pay the correct word? For example, which of these two sentences is correct? This is a pay-for product. This is a for-pay product.
0
votes
1answer
388 views

Difference between “fallback” and “fall back”? [closed]

I am struggling to understand when to use fallback and when fall back (with a space). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallback http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_back_and_forward Basically I have to ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Operator preference in English: space vs. hyphen [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to connect a word and a phrase with a hyphen? Consider a hypothetical object whose name is formed by joining the names of its two constituent parts together to get ...
13
votes
4answers
912 views

Why is “wavelength” one word when “wave height” isn't?

Why is “wavelength” one word when “wave height” isn't? As another example, wave speed is two words. But wavelength is only one word. What is the reason for this? In Swedish and other contructs, ...
2
votes
1answer
889 views

What are the parts of speech in “he's fifty years old”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Adjective Pluralization He's a fifty-year-old man. He's fifty years old. I'm fine with the first of these two sentences, in which "fifty-year-old" is a ...
2
votes
1answer
413 views

Using hyphen and quote marks in composed term? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? I want to write a term composed out of multiple words, and I would like to know whether I have to use ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Does “I don’t have either late-night nor between-meal snacks” sound natural?

Does the sentence sound natural? I don’t have either late-night nor between-meal snacks.
23
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5answers
1k views

Is a lengthy combination of words with hyphens like “the worst not-technically-in-a-recession year in American history” a new fashion of writing?

I found a hyphenated word , “not-technically–in-a-recession” in the sentence of September 28 New York Times’ article titled “Why Obama Is Winning,” written by co-ed columnist, Ross Douthat. It reads: ...
4
votes
2answers
553 views

Compound adjectives functioning as adverbs modifying other adjectives; is it possible and grammatical?

Soul-crushingly bad; heartbreakingly sad; bone-crunchingly violent; etc. I swear I have seen it done, but I am not sure whether it's proper grammar or not. Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Express a phrase as compound [closed]

I need to express this phrase as a short compound to be used as programming variable name (this phrase is in the context of a software user interface): the block showing current chatters I have ...
5
votes
2answers
824 views

Why are certain single word compound nouns pluralized in the middle

Hypothesis: compound nouns that are unhyphenated single words can be pluralized by adding an “s” to the noun root only when they consist of a noun + preposition. This is a follow-up to an earlier ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

Are there rules for constructing portmanteaux?

Lewis Carroll popularized the use and creation of (what may be considered to be) a special form of compound or conjoined words. I propose that these are different than other compound words (e.g., per ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Is it timespan or time span?

I'm speaking of the noun having to do with an interval of time. I need this for programming purposes and it appears some people use "time span" and others "timespan" so I assume both are correct.
1
vote
2answers
111 views

“Kitchen's wall” vs. “kitchen wall” vs. “the wall of his kitchen”

Which sentence is most common and natural? Finally, one of our neighbors broke his kitchen's wall open and got her. Finally, one of our neighbors broke his kitchen wall open and got her. ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

Life cycle, life-cycle or lifecycle?

I notice great variability in how this concept is expressed. Does the term vary depending on the context? Should one use one variation when discussing biology, for example, and another when talking ...
3
votes
4answers
861 views

Use of hyphens when writing repeated compound words that have common parts

In my native language, Norwegian, one uses hyphens when stating two or more copulated compound words that has common parts (words). In a thesis I'm working on, should I write test specimens, test ...
2
votes
6answers
8k views

“One-to-one” vs. “one-on-one”

I said: "Tomorrow will be our one-to-one meeting with Mr.XYZ." My friend: "OK, one-on-one." Which is correct? One-to-one Or One-on-one
7
votes
3answers
15k views

Timepoint vs. time point

When speaking of a point in time, what would be the proper usage: "Timepoint" vs. "Time point"? This funny confusion comes from my life as a programmer: While one of our style checkers enforces ...
6
votes
1answer
318 views

How compound words “eighteen” and “roommate” are built

Why does eighteen not have two tees like roommate has two ems?
1
vote
2answers
724 views

Would the adjectival form of “on the premises” be on-premise, on premise, or on-premises?

I am familiar with the origin of the word premises as it relates to property, both land and structure (relayed here: Is "premises" always plural?). I want to know if there is an accpetable ...
5
votes
6answers
516 views

Why is it “materials science” instead of “material science”?

Does anyone know how the "s" at the end of "materials" in "materials science" came about? It seems like "material science" would be equivalent, and is more natural to say aloud. For comparison with a ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Adjective pluralization

A 16-year-old girl. She is 16 years old. I've read somewhere that the reason the year in the first example is singular is that it functions as an adjective, and adjectives can't be ...
5
votes
3answers
161 views

How should one properly construct compound nationalities?

Chinese American or American Chinese? Indian Briton or British Indian? In practice, I've come across both forms and I would love to know whether this is a matter of personal preference or whether ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Englishman or English man?

Which group is correct (in British English)? Is there any difference? And which group do you use? Group 1 (the one I use) English man, English woman, English men, English women Irish man, Irish ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

“Four window layout” or “four windows layout”

To indicate a multiple object layout should I use four building layout or four buildings layout? Maybe they are both correct?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How does the hyphen change the meaning in expressions like “high performance” and “high-performance”?

I'm wondering about the distinction between expressions like "high performance" and "high-performance", or "high level" and "high-level" and other similar pairs of words which are sometimes used with ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Confusion over “family name” in English: What about double-barrelled last names? [closed]

How do you fill out an official form in English that asks for just one last name when you instead have a surname which comprises more than one word? I currently live in a Latin country, where we ...
8
votes
4answers
668 views

Killer Queen. The usage of noun sequences of length two and more. Ambiguity of nouns phrases in English

I have a question about nouns triplets like "sofa box container" and I'll formulate it at the end. I have some reasoning and I want to make sure I'm correct. First of all consider the following ...
58
votes
9answers
8k views

“Username”, “user name” or “user-name”

In computer science, you should have a username or a user name or a user-name and a password to be able to log into the system. Which one is the correct spelling?
2
votes
2answers
686 views

“Project's status” or “project status”

Should I say the project's status or the project status?
0
votes
3answers
205 views

Is the phrase “large number core machine” correct?

I would like to use the following phrase for a machine with large number cores. Is this correct? Please let me know. large number core machine
9
votes
4answers
14k views

“Real time”, “real-time” or “realtime”

Which of real time, real-time and realtime is correct when you are talking about seeing something as it happens?
7
votes
2answers
677 views

Why the “meat” in “sweetmeat”?

This has always confused me. Dictionary.com doesn't help at all. Candy and meat just don't go together that well.
1
vote
2answers
862 views

Hyphenation in compound adjectives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: To hyphenate or not? When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? In the sentence "Portland is known to ...
3
votes
3answers
289 views

Parsing of a compound noun with many words

How should I understand this phrase: "threat analysis model", which means: An analysis model of threat, or put in parentheses: (threat(analysis model) A model of threat analysis: (threat analysis ...
21
votes
4answers
14k views

Is it “front-end”, “frontend”, or “front end”?

Possible Duplicate: When to use a hyphen in writing a compound word Which is correct? front-end engineering frontend engineering front end engineering I looked over ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

“boilinghot” vs “boiling-hot” vs “boiling hot”

As the title indicates, these three forms of words/phrases can be quite confusing to me sometimes. When should they be written as one word ("boilinghot"), when should they be written in two words ...
2
votes
4answers
502 views

How to write dashes in “a 2-4-room-apartment”?

I want to write in the announcement a description of an eventual apartment, which I am searching as a rental. I am interested in apartments with 2, 3, or 4 rooms. How should I write the compound ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Is “webdesigner” a word?

I am a uh, designer of websites, and I would like to use the phrase for my profession correctly. Unfortunately, webdesigner is flagged by Google Chrome's spellchecker as a misspelling, and web ...