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

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12
votes
4answers
8k views

Should I use “ related” or “-related”

What is the correct use of the term "related?" For example, should I use it like computer related, or is it more proper to use computer-related (where the word "computer" is just part of my ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Words that are pluralized in the middle?

This is purely a curiosity, but I'm fascinated by mid-word pluralization, even if the word in question is a compound word. For example, passersby or standersby. No others have occurred to me. Can ...
3
votes
4answers
867 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
310 views

Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped?

Is it chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? And with what kind of former words to use "-" properly?
3
votes
1answer
635 views

Multiple compound words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to connect a word and a phrase with a dash? Hello, I'm a non-native English speaker and I'm writing a scientific paper about biometric identification based on heart ...
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?
7
votes
4answers
308 views

Compound Adjectives and -ed

A colleague asked me this question, and I couldn't come up with an answer that satisfied him, so I'm wondering if anyone can help: Why does a man with a short temper become a short-tempered man? In ...
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: ...
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
920 views

Is there a grammar rule behind the hyphen in the phrase 'one-act play'?

I noticed that the phrase 'one-act play' always uses a hyphen between 'one' and 'act'. Is there a grammar rule in play here, how does it work?
8
votes
2answers
752 views

Why are some words combined into a single word while others stay as two words?

Examples: Anyone Anything Anytime Anywhere Everyone Everything Every time Everywhere No one Nothing No time Nowhere Someone Something Sometime Somewhere Why is there a discrepancy? Is there any ...
1
vote
2answers
864 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
828 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“One-Day Only Promotion” or “One-Day-Only Promotion”

A copywriter I'm working with wrote "One-Day Only Promotion" but my feeling is that "One-Day-Only Promotion" is correct. The first three words describe 'Promotion'. I know you don't hyphenate adverbs, ...
2
votes
1answer
417 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
650 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.
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Compound words: what real compound word is composed of most words?

I was looking at this question about the word albeit and it got me thinking... what is the most compound, non-hyphenated, real word in English? Strictly speaking, albeit might not be counted as a ...
15
votes
4answers
932 views

Obscenities considered less obscene in compounds? [NSFW]

There are at least a few cases in which a compound word or phrase, transparently containing an obscene word, seems to be considered less obscene (in some dialect/registers/circumstances) than the word ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the term “ice cream” considered one word or two?

My question is a little broader than the title and applies to a term which is described by more than one "word". Is the term (in this case "ice cream") one word, or two? Based on my research, the ...
5
votes
2answers
952 views

Why do we call snail mail “snail mail”?

Why do we call snail mail "snail mail"? So by default mail will refer to email?
2
votes
1answer
388 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
855 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “onetime” and “one time”?

I was reading a book that had a sentence containing this: ...onetime commissioner of New York...
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.
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
899 views

Correct use of “wake up”

English isn't my native language (Spanish is), so this question may be very basic, but it is worse not to ask. Which of these two phrases is the correct one? I'm trying to wake and get up from ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Do you read the 'c' in 'kc'?

For example: clickcub clickcube clickcrab clickcrate clickcone In which of those cases do you read the 'c' and not?
2
votes
2answers
76 views

The suffix -hood

I am using the suffix -hood as both base and suffix to derive poetical meaning in an interplay of the words "...child and adult hood." Though this may offend the ear of the modern day reader, I ...
2
votes
3answers
707 views

“Adult and children stories” or “Adults and children stories”?

How do you say it correctly? Adult and children stories Adults and children stories Adults' and children's stories other?
1
vote
2answers
265 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
6k 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
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 ...