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This might be a simple one, but I'd like to have your opinion/authoritative statements: I write a thesis in a technical modelling context, where a mathematical model operates on a discrete set of timesteps (or time steps?). Paramaters/Variables that are defined over this set are then called timeseries (or time series?).

A Google battle yields the one-word expressions as clear victors, but dict.leo.org does only like the two-word expressions. So which one is to be preferred? Or is there even a difference in meaning between both variants?

Conclusion: after a temporary confusion from a third option "time-step", I settled for the two word versions for both words.

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    Timestep doesn’t look too bad, though time step looks more natural. Timeseries looks very awkward to me, with time series being far more natural. Would these time series be the same as these ones? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 14 '14 at 15:44
  • Exactly that kind of time series. It is just usual in my (non-native) environment to write them as one word. So I wanted to be sure that I don't change my wording, if both were acceptable alternatives. – ojdo Apr 14 '14 at 15:51
  • You shouldn’t use German rules of compounding as a guide to English—it’s much more complicated and arbitrary in English than in German where all compounds are always spelt closed, never open. :-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 14 '14 at 16:16
  • If I'm interpreting the results of the 'Google battle' correctly, the clear winner is the well known English open compound "time series" not the closed form "timeseries". Which is exactly what I'd expect: is this a function of where one's computer is situated? – Edwin Ashworth Apr 14 '14 at 16:57
  • Interesting, "timeseries" is the winner for me: timeseries: 6,430,000, "time series": 4,760,000. – ojdo Apr 14 '14 at 17:00
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In scientific literature, timestep is very common. I am surprised that timeseries beats time series in a google battle though - I would stick with the latter personally.

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    I’m guessing part of the reason could be that there is a Java class (or actually several Java classes, I think) called TimeSeries. Nearly all regular Google hits for "timeseries" are about the class, rather than the mathematical term. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 14 '14 at 16:14
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I don't see a good reason to join the two into a single word :) Except perhaps when you want to use a "timestep" or "timeserie" as a unit.

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  • I don’t see why using it as a unit would change anything … (And there is no such singular as *serie. The word is a series in the singular, too.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 14 '14 at 15:43

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