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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-2
votes
2answers
2k views

Plural possessive with compound subject [duplicate]

Is it "John and Becky's knowledge" or "John's and Becky's knowledge"?
-2
votes
2answers
57 views

Is it 'express shipped' or 'shipped express'?

Which one is correct? He should have express shipped it to me. He should have it shipped express to me.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

When to make compound adjectives with adverbs?

I'm trying to figure out what style guidelines or rules apply to creating compound adjectives when adverbs are involved. Typically you create compound adjectives when there is potential for ambiguity ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

“Home page” or “homepage”? [closed]

Is there a convention for the spelling of the name of the main page of a website? Should it be home page, with a space between the two words; or homepage, all one word?
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Is it good style to factor out the common root word of two (or more) prefixed compound words?

I see sometimes in conjunciton or disjunction, the common root of two or more compound words are factored out, for example, "super- and sub-script" (maybe bad example, but it suffices to describe the ...
0
votes
1answer
512 views

What are the possible part of speech combinations for compound nouns?

I am currently working through allowable part of speech combinations for the first two words of an English sentence. It seems troubling to me to allow the first two words of a sentence to both be ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Sub edge, sub-edge or subedge?

In fields like geometry and numerical methods for solving differential equations we often use words like sub-face and sub-edge, referring to parts of a geometrical object. For instance, a cube has 6 ...
1
vote
3answers
327 views

What are monk's holes?

This is the first sentence of The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams. On this day of days there was an unfamiliar stirring deep inside the dozing heart of the Hayholt, in the castle's bewildering ...
2
votes
1answer
468 views

Possession in Compound Nouns [duplicate]

In a compound noun with a postpositive adjective, such as "Director-General" or "Court Martial," the noun is pluralized by using the plural form of the first word (i.e. "Directors-General" or "Courts ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Should we say less or fewer “fruit and vegetables”?

Fruit is uncountable but vegetables is countable, so we should use less or fewer before them together?
2
votes
4answers
202 views

How should one make “man in the middle” plural?

Usually, when a phrase acts as a single word, the noun in the phrase gets made plural. For instance, "mother in law" becomes "mothers in law" when made plural. When discussing "man in the middle" ...
0
votes
1answer
414 views

Is it “interest free” or “interest-free” when describing a loan without an interest rate? [duplicate]

I watched a clip a show shown on TruTV about a woman who was angry about not having been offered free cash for thirty days. According to the receptionist in the financial services place she was in, ...
3
votes
1answer
16k views

Closed-toe, close-toe, or closed-toed shoes?

I've always used closed-toe (as in: "the toe of the shoe is closed"), but apparently, the different variations are fairly common. I suppose I could see how "closed-toed" would make sense in terms of ...
1
vote
1answer
326 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
703 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
426 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
201 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
144 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
805 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
219 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
672 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
530 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
276 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
168 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
539 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
21 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
943 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
994 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
518 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
votes
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
576 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.
1
vote
1answer
94 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
1k 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
268 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
8k 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
113 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
13k 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
961 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
11k 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
17k 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
332 views

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

Why does eighteen not have two tees like roommate has two ems?
1
vote
2answers
758 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
604 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
4k 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
167 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
4answers
2k 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
71 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 ...