Questions tagged [compounds]

Questions about words that are created by combining two or more other words together.

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23 views

what is the meaning of 'to wear one's breeches out' and 'rat-gutted'?

I am quoting from the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: "Now, you don't think it likely that a man who could do anything is going to wear his breeches out ...
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17 views

Vice Chair Elect or Vice Chair-elect or Vice-Chair-Elect? Elect or elect?

The position for the incumbent in my club is referred to as Vice Chair (no hyphen). But "elect" is preceded by a hyphen. So, would "Vice Chair-elect" be more appropriate to ...
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1answer
47 views

Correct usage with compound nouns [closed]

He met an accomplished Hogwarts Witch Hermione Granger. (incorrect) 1'. He met an accomplished Hogwarts Witch, Hermione Granger.(correct)(accepting capitalisation) He met a Witch Hermione Granger. (...
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1answer
50 views

Are reflexive pronouns typically used in compound objects?

We can all agree that the reflexive pronoun in this sentence is necessary:I bought drinks for myself. However, I cannot seem to find a definitive answer regarding the following sentence:I bought ...
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20 views

Correct hyphenation of age groups (18-25-year-olds / 18- to 25-year-olds / 18 to 25-year-olds)

As the title suggests, I'd like to ask your opinion on the correct way (or most common/recommended way) to write about different age groups. Let's imagine you have a table showing several age groups ...
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1answer
45 views

How do you diagram a sentence that has a nominal phrase that is described by an adjective using the Reed-Kellogg system?

I have the following sentence: I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. My understanding is that "holiday weekend" is a compound noun nominal phrase, since it would be incorrect to say &...
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1answer
29 views

“Half an hour” and “half hour” adverbs

If the rate per hour is the hourly rate, what do you call the rate for half an hour? What is the rate for 2 hours known as?
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17 views

How should we use hyphen to create an adjective with multiple words?

When saying, in a technical documentation, XYZ license with a free of charge distribution only clause should we use hyphens like this: XYZ license with a free-of-charge-distribution-only clause to ...
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39 views

Why is barefeet not a word?

The question might seem absurd, but I am curious as to why 'barefeet' is not a valid English word. Why is it 'barefoot' and not 'barefeet'?
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1answer
42 views

'polymorphic' is to “many changes” as ??? is to “many behaviors”?

In an OOP context, "polymorphic" is an imprecise description of class method overrides. The form (or shape) of the method is exactly the same as the base; the only thing that changes is the ...
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1answer
35 views

Single opening with multiple doors: “trapdoor” or “trapdoors”

Is it "a trapdoor" or "trapdoors" for one opening with two or more doors covering it? One example is the one(s) covering Black Horse Inn's cellar. Clearly it is plural when there ...
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1answer
47 views

Is it “multi-element” or “multi-elemental”? “Multi-attribute” or “multi-attributed”?

I've seen both being used, so I'm having a hard time telling which one is correct. Logic dictates that it's supposed to be "multi-elemental" and "multi-attributed," considering we ...
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1answer
42 views

Neither-nor, usage of neither-nor with verb [closed]

Which one is correct? 1. Neither anything changed nor we were informed. 2. Neither changed anything nor were we informed.
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91 views

Pride and joy as a plural

I just came across some text in a book which stated, “it was one of his prides and joys“. That sounds wrong to me. It seems as if it should be pride and joys, since that phrase is considered a ...
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28 views

Is it OK to omit a first part of compound word when it was used on its own right before?

From https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ee105/fa19/discussions/dis2.ee105.fa19.v1.pdf : Other than first/last line, order doesn't matter. As I understand, it should be "Other than first/last line, ...
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38 views

Is there a semantic difference between 'supply-demand gap' and 'demand-supply gap'?

I have confirmed that both 'supply-demand gap' and 'demand-supply gap' have been used, although the latter is by far more common. I wonder if X-Y gap suggests that X was higher than Y, or vice-versa? ...
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1answer
53 views

Gerunds/present participles of two-verb compounds

I use making-believe instead of make-believing if I need to make a gerund/present participle out of "make-believe", but I just saw this line: Brenda rode along, make-believing she was a knight ...
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24 views

Question about noun compound

I need to convert some noun compounds into regular sentences, and I am having trouble with four of them: 1) greatly reduced atmospheric ozone depletion. 2) an airport air traffic controller. 3) air ...
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25 views

It was meme city

I know it's silly but, Elon Musk once said it during his meme review: "It was meme city". So we've got an argument with my friend about the 'meme city' part. I say it's a compound adjective used as ...
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46 views

word, noun, and compound noun

A noun is defined in Oxford as: A word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun). A ...
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2answers
195 views

How is 'compound noun' defined in CGEL?

This question is specifically about The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum. Here's CGEL's definition of word: In order to avoid possible misunderstanding we will ...
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2answers
71 views

How do we write the names of the cities? [duplicate]

We write New York as separate, not Newyork. But we write Newtown as compound noun and not separate. This is a problem in tests like IELTS. How do we know when to write the names separately?
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299 views

Of sweet tooths and black sheep: when does the plural of a compound turn regular?

According to many dictionaries, the plural of sweet tooth is sweet tooths, and not *sweet teeth (see e.g. here and here; the OED doesn't address the issue explicitly, but one of the examples it ...
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1answer
137 views

Use of the prefix “non-” on compound words [duplicate]

What is the correct way to apply the prefix "non-" to negate a (maybe dashed) compound adjective? Suppose that we want to negate a generic compound adjective "adjective1 adjective2". In this case: "...
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1answer
80 views

Is 'a 210-million-people market' correctly written? [duplicate]

Usually I find compound adjectives quite straightforward, but I'm not so sure when it comes to the following: A 210-million-people market So how should I refer to a market 210 million people large ...
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2answers
104 views

Isn’t “higher-priced products” with an adjective ungrammatical for the correct “more highly priced products” with an adverb?

The phrase higher-priced products is very common, but isn’t it grammatically incorrect? The adjective higher is being forced to servce as an adverb here, so the phrase should instead be more highly ...
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2answers
366 views

Is the “The Pirate King” another structure of “The King of Pirates”, interchangeably or “Pirate” is like an adj., meaning “The King that is a pirate”?

I have ambiguity with the meaning of some compound nouns, especially in the form noun+noun like: "The Pirate King", "The Lion King", "The Pirate Bay" and so on. EDITED: ...
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1answer
62 views

Do the words “en dash” and “em dash” require a hyphen? [duplicate]

I have seen the compound words "en dash" and "em dash" sometimes appear with a hyphen ("en-dash") and sometimes without. Are both the hyphenated and the unhyphenated forms correct?
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23 views

Compound nouns vs possessive (of) [duplicate]

Which should I choose: The factory roof or the roof of the factory? Are there some grammar/rules about the difference? What case should I use the first sentence in? What case should I use the second ...
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1answer
82 views

Various mails in chain [closed]

Which is more correct to say See mail trail See trail mail I want to know the right sentence to use when writing mail. Some people use mail trail while some use trail mail. It puts me ...
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87 views

“drinks cans” compound noun [duplicate]

I've met a "drinks cans" compound noun on this webpage. See how food and drinks cans get recycled As I know, there is a specific rule for the plural compound nouns that are made of two nouns. In ...
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2answers
122 views

Term for creating a fantasy word from all letters of two existing words?

If I have two words - let's say "lamp" and "vampire" and I put all of their letters together to form a new fantasy word. e.g. "vapamlimper" does this process have a name? I already considered terms ...
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2answers
246 views

‘Dog issue’: a compound or a noun phrase?

I’m so confused of the following expression: ‘the hot dog issue’. The dialogue is following: A: Have you heard of the hot dog issue? B: Yes, I have. These days, the dog’s euthanasia problem is very ...
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1answer
70 views

Why is it incorrect to say/write “I want to know today weather” instead of “I want to know today's weather”? [closed]

"'s" indicates possesive case. Although it's absurd to say that "today" owns "weather", possesive case can indicate other relationships too. For example, in "Picasso's paintings" it means "by Picasso" ...
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1answer
33 views

“Uploaduser” or “upload user”

I'm working on a product where you can enable an upload user (or uploaduser?) which is a special user that has upload privileges. I'm not a native english speaker and I cannot figure out whether it ...
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1answer
48 views

“A servile propaganda operation”: is the “propaganda operation” collocation leveraged proper in this context?

[...] has ever had at his disposal—a servile propaganda operation.1 I was looking at some ngram for collocations with propaganda and there are many more results with campaign and machine for instance ...
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1answer
40 views

Hyphenated abbreviation of component-sharing compound

In German it is unconspicuous to write 'An- oder Abwesenheit', but writing 'pre- or absence' in English would be conspicuous and perhaps either jocular or affectatious. I cannot think of an example ...
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2answers
202 views

Beesting or bee sting

A friend made a typo when writing "bee sting" and wrote "beesting" but apparently this is also a word according to Merriam-Webster. Does anyone actually use "beesting" if so, is it a result of some ...
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3answers
1k views

“Fish and chips shop” or “fish and chip shop”?

When referring to a restaurant specializing in fish and chips would you call it a fish and chip shop or a fish and chips shop?
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1answer
129 views

What part of speech is the word hair in 'hair spray'? [duplicate]

Consider the following sentence as an example. I used some hair spray. What part of speech is hair? Intuitively, I want to say it's an adjective modifying spray since hair spray is two separate words ...
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1answer
55 views

“Personal Use Program” or “Personal-Use Program”?

Help me settle a discussion on this topic. Everywhere I look, within my company's internal documents as well as documents from other companies, a "personal use" program is not hyphenated. A colleague ...
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2answers
234 views

Plural or single with compound objects

Suppose you want to say something like There are two crates, having three and one balls respectively. How to say this correctly? Is it ‘…one balls’ or ‘three balls and one ball’, or something ...
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1answer
141 views

Mishearing something overheard

Consider the following situation: A & B are having a conversation. C overhears it. Either A or B says something C considers controversial. C later speaks about this in private, but has misheard. ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is it gerontology and not geronology?

I hope this is the right place to ask this, if not please give a feedback. According to the Wikipedia, the term gerontology is made up from two parts, geron and -logia, which mean respectively "old ...
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0answers
613 views

“Testbed” or “test bed”? [duplicate]

"A testbed is a platform for conducting rigorous, transparent, and replicable testing of scientific theories, computational tools, and new technologies" (Wikipedia). While Wikipedia seems to prefer "...
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1answer
2k views

“everywhere” vs. “anywhere” vs. “somewhere”

Which one is correct to use? We usually stay home because it's more comfortable than go everywhere/anywhere/somewhere
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2answers
511 views

Proper use of “forward out”

I want to use "Forward out" to indicate that no matter which port messages are sent out they always arrive at the same destination. Are the following sentences grammatically correct and serve the ...
3
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1answer
560 views

Is there a rule for forming plural compound nouns?

The the Cambridge dictionary demonstrates that compound nouns can be pluralized by adding an s to the first word. a security (FINANCE, STOCK MARKET): a financial investment such as a bond or ...
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1answer
52 views

In which grammatical number should the first word in a compound be? [duplicate]

I've recently caught myself spending too much time wondering about several off-sounding compounds I've come across, e.g. browsers list (as in, a list of browsers) and tasks queue (as in, a queue of ...
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1answer
188 views

“-field” joining rule for compound words?

Is there a rule when to join a word with field and when to leave them as two separate words? Examples: I walked through a cornfield. I walked through a maize field. I walked through a minefield. I ...

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