M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Single, hyphenated, or double?

March 14, 2016
MThomas

dolmen.JPGDuring the final proofreading of Notes from the Nineties, I’m finding small amusements in MS Word…which seems to be contradicting previous versions of spellcheckers.

Or is that spell-checkers? Spell checkers?
I’ve always had a habit of using single words where others prefer double or hyphenated words. To me, reproducing spoken language makes dialog in particular (of course) and prose sound more natural. Now that the automated spellchecker (spell-…spell…) is suggesting single words over other options, I’m finding a number of inconsistencies.

For example, the program suggests “flowerbed” (OK…) but “death bed” (um…why?). Gravestone is one word, but grave marker is two…but they mean the same thing (don’t they?). Rune stone is two words (but it’s only one object, like a gravestone…). Huh?

Which would you prefer? Single word? Double? Hyphens?

Below I’ve written the original form of 2-word nouns and adjectives in my stories (most dating from, you guessed it, the ‘90s) in the order in which they appear. Try to guess which ones were flagged by Word as “misspelled.” (Note: I changed many to single words…which ones would you change?)

  • camp fire
  • deathbed
  • flower bed
  • roommate
  • stop light
  • firebrand
  • southbound
  • off season
  • ear-splitting
  • firepit
  • stone walls
  • newly-graveled
  • eighteen wheeler
  • dimly-lit
  • sidepocket
  • cut-outs
  • cubby-hole
  • wrist watch
  • name tag
  • gumline
  • militia men
  • apple sauce
  • sing-song
  • toll booth
  • fast forward
  • day-long
  • door frame
  • head-first

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Logos con carne

Another voice in the interweb wilderness

Broken Angel

Love is in the words

cassidyslangscam

A debunking of Daniel Cassidy's theories about the influence of the Irish language on English slang.

Sofhaallow

Science and Technology Blog.

Science Recent

Your Daily Science Source

Andrea, Children’s Book Illustrator

Children's book illustrator

Jared Michael Kubokawa

Teacher, Writer, Musician, Father

%d bloggers like this: