I'm looking to label an action button that would allow a user in a software interface to enable reordering (sorting, not re-purchasing) of items in a list.

Re-order vs. Reorder

When first presented with a label of "Re-order" it looked weird to me but my Googling left me more confused that resolved on the matter.

Merriam-Webster indicates that "reorder" applies to both ordering again, and arranging in a different order.


Dictionary.com has examples for the term "reorder" (at a url fragment titled "re-order"), spelled as "re-order"

Are both versions acceptable/interchangeable or is one more correct than the other?



With re- words, you should use ‘re-’ (with a hyphen) if the next word begins with an ‘e’ or a ‘u’ (when not pronounced like ‘you’). Otherwise, don’t hyphenate. It’s therefore re-examine, re-urge, re-entry and re-elect, and reuse, reunion, reorder, reinforce and redevelop.

Source: http://www.proofreadinglondon.com/blog/to-hyphenate-or-not-to-hyphenate

In general, try to avoid putting hyphens into words formed of one word and a short prefix

Source: http://www.economist.com/style-guide/hyphens

  • 2
    And a supporting vote for this from the Guardian/Observer style guide as well: theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide-h May 18 '16 at 16:30
  • But Chicago (CMoS) prefers reedit. Aug 18 '20 at 11:55
  • @EdwinAshworth interesting, because it almost seems to contradict itself. It says to use a dash "to separate two i’s, two a’s, and other combinations of letters or syllables that might cause misreading". I'd argue 'reedit' could be misread as reed-it. I think the style guide above is less ambiguous in this case
    – Michael
    Aug 18 '20 at 12:44
  • Yes; I'm just pointing out that school students, without an in-house style guide, should not be marked down for using reedit. // You need to be aware of the distinction between the hyphen and the dash (or various dashes, in the usual US style choices). Aug 18 '20 at 13:34

I would imagine that both are equally viable in that context and that it comes down to which you prefer using, either visually or in terms of what you believe to be correct. If you find different dictonary/definition websites with each using or referring to a different spelling, then that would suggest that you could use either. Hope this helps.

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