Is the correct spelling "grey scale" or "greyscale"? I'm not sure whether or not to write it as a compound; it's in the context of a black-and-white video stream.

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  • 1
    I believe the word you are looking for is grayscale. – Will Sherwood Aug 18 '16 at 19:57
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    @WillSherwood- Depends on what side of the Atlantic you're on. – cobaltduck Aug 18 '16 at 20:33

The OED entry for greyscale shows a familiar progression of compound formation. The earliest entry, from 1857, refers to grey scale; from 1961, there is a citation about a grey-scale chart, and by 1994 there is a mention of greyscales.

A quick Ngram of variations of greyscale image (in order to exclude most scales which are grey, and Martinian afflictions) shows all three forms in use, but the closed form being most common for both gray and grey.

Google NGram showing 'grayscale image' to be more prevalent than 'gray-scale image' and 'gray scale image'

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