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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
27 views

Compounds and Phrases - differences

What are differences of compounds and phrases and what do they have in common? I know there is the "nuclear stress rule" (phrasal stress on the last word of phrase) and the "compound stress rule" ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

What is the correct hyphenation of “human skin tissue emulating gel”?

A type of gel designed to emulate human skin tissue. So, is this a "human skin tissue–emulating gel" (en dash)? Or, is it a "human-skin-tissue-emulating gel" (all hyphens)? Does anyone know the ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

How would you indicate a single direction trip?

This question came up today in the office. We sell single direction bus trips through our site (wanderu.com) but have not agreed on which English word(s) should be used in text. Is it one-way or one ...
2
votes
3answers
58 views

Compounds and Phrases

What is the difference between compounds and phrases? How do I know that "watch-maker" is a compound but "steel bridge" is a phrase? Does the "head" have anything to do with it (complement-head or ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Noun + participle as adjective phrase

There's a construction in English that allows us to form a compound adjective from a noun and a past participle. Examples: This is a volunteer-built home. Our newspaper is student-run. ...
0
votes
0answers
94 views

Creating Old English compound words for placenames, surnames and weapons

I'm interested in automatically generating (mostly) Old English compound words, for use within a medieval fantasy video game. I have three categories below: Place-names: (using this) Riven-dale ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Use and meaning of o between words in blends

First things first: I'm italian, so please apologize me for my poor english. While trying to create a name for a thing, I got curious by the question in the title. Many English words (new and old ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

“Time zone” vs. “Timezone”

My spell checker shows that both "time zone" and "timezone" are correctly spelled. Which one of these is the correct one to use?
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Sugarcane or Sugar cane? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between "sugar cane" and sugarcane? Is sugarcane wrong? What is the gramatical rule for joining two names like that? I have found 13.500 entries on google for sugarcane, but ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

What should words be called that can be separated into two or more parts, each of which means the same as the word as a whole?

What should words be called that can be separated into two or more parts, each of which means the same as the word as a whole? I know there are at least three words in English that fit this ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Should I use the “correct” form or the form used in the specification

I'm writing about a web framework. Integral part of it is its lifecycle. Apparently (as for example my browser tells me), this is not the correct spelling. I should either use life cycle or ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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?
2
votes
1answer
273 views

Is it correct to say “Yesterday night”? [duplicate]

I have heard a lot of people say "Yesterday night" is that considered correct? I have always said last night.
-2
votes
2answers
87 views

Is there another word for a “large family” or “small family”?

I'm searching for another, perhaps more technical term for a large and a small family. To clarify, I simply mean a family with many children and one with very few, if any, children. So I'm not ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

What word to choose as the opposite of “self-aware”?

What word would describe the quality of not being self-aware? unselfaware unself-aware un-selfaware un-self-aware non-self-aware I am aware that it is allowed to have multiple hyphens in a word. ...
5
votes
5answers
135 views

Is “missing person” considered a compound noun?

In the phrase missing person, is the whole phrase a compound noun or would missing be considered an adjective that modifies person? It seems like in many situations when it is used with other ...
0
votes
3answers
62 views

“A nounfull” of something

When I want to describe the amount of water one can hold in a cup, I might describe it as a "cupfull of water." Is is grammatically valid to extend this to other kinds of containers, like for example ...
0
votes
1answer
216 views

use of hyphen to apply an adjective to non-hyphenated compound word

Do I write "non-power of two" or "non-power-of-two", where I assume "power of two" is a non-hyphenated compound word?
2
votes
1answer
76 views

“a while” vs “awhile”

Is there a difference between "awhile" and "a while"? If there is, what is it? I've been wondering this for awhile, but now I actually need the answer.
1
vote
3answers
156 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
10k views

“Firstname” or “First Name”?

In filling out forms, I'm starting to see a lot of this: Firstname: xx Lastname: yy Is it generally acceptable to join the words like that? Or should we be sticking to: First Name: ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

Do I keep myself “up-to-date” or “up to date” on something?

Question is quite straightforward. I want to say that "I keep myself up-to-date on the latest technology". Or is it better "I keep myself up to date with the latest technology"? Thanks
5
votes
7answers
856 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Should the names of different sorting algorithms be “<qualifier> sort” or “<qualifier>sort”?

Should the names of different sorting algorithms be <qualifier> sort or <qualifier>sort? The titles of Wikipedia articles of these sorting algorithms are not consistent with respect to ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

“Stockmarkets” vs. “stock markets”

I am having trouble with the difference between stockmarkets and stock markets — or should it be stock-markets? In some articles it is introduced as stockmarkets, but that term is not found in ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

How to handle ambiguity caused by long clause and compound?

I am composing a sentence: People who have children who score A's in school and have good health are very happy. In this sentence, 'have good health' is intended to be a clause of 'people'; ...
1
vote
4answers
214 views

Decomposing “fingerprint”

I somehow ended up in a small argument about the first part of the compound word "fingerprint". The other person insists that the first word "finger" is an adjective, which I cannot agree with. ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

“Web design” vs. “webdesign”

Suppose I want to use the word in a company's name, for example: ABC Web Design ABC Webdesign Which one is correct? Should it be one word or two?
2
votes
3answers
57 views

How to resolve the ambiguity of “two day classes”

Two day classes will take place this week. Here, "day classes" is a compound. I don't want it to sound like it's just one class that goes on for two days.
0
votes
1answer
94 views

What is the correct way to use hyphens when saying “eight to ten week cycle”? [duplicate]

A friend has asked about this and so far most seem to believe the best answer is: At the end of an eight- to ten-week project period, the team reports their findings and recommendations to their ...
3
votes
4answers
253 views

Which form should be used for an “adjective noun”: singular, plural, possessive?

When should a noun acting as an adjective be plural, and when should it be singular? And when should it be possessive, like baker's dozen and when should it be plural possessive, like farmers' market? ...
8
votes
3answers
22k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Compound words limitation

To what extent compound words are appropriate in English? Are the "onthedownburninghouseresting", "firesurrounded" valid words in English? Somehow I feel that the first one is not, while the second ...
23
votes
7answers
2k 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: ...
1
vote
3answers
873 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
3k views

Plural possessive with compound subject [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? John and Becky's knowledge John's and Becky's knowledge
2
votes
3answers
631 views

Noun phrase converted to verb, is a hyphen needed?

When "air kiss" is treated as a verb, as in "they air kissed", should it be hyphenated to "air-kissed"?
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Are nouns like 'Create' appropriate in a compound? [closed]

I'm solving a problem where I must choose between 'CreateMethod' and 'CreationMethod'. The first one fits me better because I want to indicate an action, not the process invoked by that action. I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
168 views

What is the combining form of 'Christian?'

I recently heard the term 'Judeo-Christian' which caused a thought to strike me. I don't know how to switch the order of the classical compound (word). What is the combining form of 'Christian?' ...
8
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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.
0
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
325 views

What part-of-speech would a vehicle's year/make/model be?

Suppose I were to say this sentence: "I own a 2003 Ford F-150." Would 2003 Ford F-150 be a compound proper noun? Would Ford F-150 be a compound proper noun and 2003 be an adjective? Would F-150 be ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

What’s the correct hyphenation in “trying to be a decision maker”?

Which of these three ways of writing it is right: decision maker (a space separates the two pieces) decision-maker (a hyphen separates the two pieces) decisionmaker (nothing separates the two ...
2
votes
3answers
9k views

Can “whatever” be split into two words?

I tend to write, "say whatever they want", but I'm always tempted to write "say what ever they want". Is it acceptable to split the word in this context?
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Does one capitalize “Portuguese” when used in a hyphenated adjective? [closed]

When Portuguese is used as part of a hyphenated adjective, does it take an initial capital letter? Just checking on this while proofreading an article. Examples: portuguese-speaking college ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

On the Making of Decisions—Compound, Hyphen, or Space? [duplicate]

I'm responsible for most of the copy editing at my job. While it goes pretty smoothly most of the time, there is one area that keeps creating a bit of cognitive dissonance for me: decisionmaking ...
17
votes
12answers
2k views

An Exocentric compound for Children

I have written a story for children in Persian. Somewhere in the story, I have mentioned "pear". "Pear" In Farsi is gool-abbi, which translates literally as "blue flower". I have mentioned that as ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

In English you have 'above', 'on', 'over' and 'on top of' but in Italian one word, 'sopra', covers all four meanings

In Italian if I were to say, "sopra l'albero" (albero = tree) you might rightly ask: "Yes but where, exactly?" But "sopra" is a great word to learn in Italian, not only is it a very flexible ...