0

Would it be proper to write "doorlight" without a space? If so, how is it different from "door light" in terms of its definition and usage?

I've mostly seen "doorlight" written to describe light coming through a doorway. I want to spark the mental image of that type of light when someone sees the word(s). Visually, I find doorlight more appealing but I don't think it's correct.

There is no entry for "doorlight" in any of the dictionaries indexed by OneLook Dictionary search.

  • I've mostly seen it written to describe light coming through a doorway. I want to spark the mental image of that type of light when someone sees the word(s). Visually, doorlight is more appealing but I don't think it's grammatically correct. – Sharon Manson Aug 25 '16 at 1:26
  • Thanks for clarifying what your question is. I have edited your post to add this information, and also some more context for your question (it is not answered by a dictionary because there doesn't seem to be any dictionary entry for "doorlight"). Please review my edit to make sure the post is still asking for the information you want. If there is anything you would like to change, you can make further edits yourself. – sumelic Aug 25 '16 at 3:34
  • 1
    Not the meaning you intend: A. Ginsberg Planet News 100 "A high black taxi with orange doorlight passes around iron railing blazoned with red sigma Underground." The compound you want to use will be interpreted on the model of known similar compounds: 'footlight', 'moonlight', 'noonlight'. Correct isn't so much the issue as will it communicate and does it communicate smoothly and efficiently in the context where you use it. Another issue: why better than the usual open form? – JEL Aug 25 '16 at 4:15
2

I don't think doorlight is a word in itself with a specific defintion. It's just a compound of the words door and light.

But to answer your question, I'd suppose a doorlight suggests a light that is specifically created for/ placed for the purpose of lighting up a doorway, while a door light could include:

-A light that is near a door (almost certainly)

-A light that is on a door

-The light emitted by a door

-A light specifically created for/placed for the purpose of lighting up a doorway

I would not worry about the distinction in spoken English (if any really exists). All sorts of unofficial compound words exist and are widely used, consciously or unconsciously. For writing, door light is the safe bet if you are worried about doorlight not existing in the dictionary.

  • Note that in the US "light" is also used to refer to small non-operable glass window in a door. – Hot Licks Aug 25 '16 at 12:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.