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

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23
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
23k 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 example?)...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
600 views

Term for words like Snowmageddon, Nipplegate and even cheeseburger?

Is there a term for words like Snowmageddon, Nipplegate and even cheeseburger? I know they're portmanteaus (or portmanteaux), but they seem to belong to a special class of portmanteau. In the title ...
3
votes
4answers
524 views

Which form should be used for “student union”: 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? ...
7
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
469 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
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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 be ...
58
votes
4answers
45k 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 http://www.grammarbook....
88
votes
9answers
37k 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?
24
votes
7answers
4k 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: ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
975 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “rollback it” incorrect?

I recently wrote the following sentence: Please roll it back. But if I were to describe the action on its own I would say: This rollback was due to objections by the original author. If I ...
7
votes
5answers
8k 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 plural. ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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?
4
votes
3answers
7k 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
3answers
13k 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?
13
votes
4answers
33k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
21k 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?
6
votes
2answers
2k 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
510 views

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

Why does eighteen not have two tees like roommate has two ems?
2
votes
2answers
1k 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.
15
votes
4answers
33k 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?
5
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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?
5
votes
3answers
424 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
150 views

Open non-compositional compound nouns

Closely related to my other question, I am searching for an open/spaced compound noun for which the following properties hold: Its constituents have a well-known association. Such as "honey" and ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Stress placement in compounds such as “elsewhere” and “inland”

In watching nature documentaries narrated by David Attenborough, I've noticed that in various compounds where Americans use first-syllable stress (elsewhere, inland, life-forms), he uses second-...
2
votes
3answers
808 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?
2
votes
1answer
1k 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
3answers
33k 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 "...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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...
6
votes
9answers
650 views

Compound noun with completely different meaning

I am looking for a compound noun that has a meaning that is completely (or very) different from the words it is derived from. This because I want to give an example of how powerful the human brain is ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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?
5
votes
5answers
245 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
222 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
312 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.
3
votes
1answer
302 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?
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
376 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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 16....
1
vote
2answers
530 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 ("...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

The use of hyphen in consecutive compounds [duplicate]

I am not that punctuation-savy, so I have one question for my research title. Currently it is Social crowdfunding: individual- and project-related determinants of success. Empirical ...