Is there a terminology for when correct English words that are made up of other English words are incorrectly split to use the shorter words out of context?

Examples of the error I am trying to categorise:

  • Today I'll wear my everyday shoes. vs. Today I'll wear my every day shoes.
  • The weathermen have forecast rain. vs. The weather men have forecast rain.
  • An ideal setup would be full waterproofs. vs. An ideal set up would be full water proofs.
  • That would give me a headache. vs. That would give me a head ache.
  • We won thanks to great teamwork. vs. We won thanks to great team work.
  • Always make sure you backup your computer. vs. Always make sure you back up your computer.
  • 3
    I don't understand your question. In none of the examples does the wrong choice inadvertently mean something else. What you're describing are merely spelling errors.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 5, 2015 at 18:38
  • 1
    Always make sure you back up your computer's DATA.is the right choice. Backup doesn't apply here
    – Tushar Raj
    May 5, 2015 at 18:49
  • Your last example (using backup as a verb) is actually wrong. The verb is back up, and the noun is backup. Otherwise, you would have to say "I'm backupping my computer daily". May 5, 2015 at 19:02
  • Technically it's known as a "mistake".
    – Hot Licks
    May 5, 2015 at 22:48
  • I'm not sure these are even mistakes: many, if not all, are just alternatives or older forms. Sep 16, 2015 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


The mistake of splitting a word incorrectly into two different words is quite simply—wait for it—a misspelling. I can think of no sub-class of this error for when a change in meaning is caused.


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