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A few years ago when I first saw the word Coworker my first thought was to pronounce it Cow orker, till I read further...still amuses me when I see it.
From: techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- shenton=smithsdetection -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- shenton=smithsdetection -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of David Loveless
Sent: July 17, 2006 3:19 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: FW: Email versus e-mail
"My personal rule is to hyphenate all e-words unless they are a company or product name. My rationale is that I can't think of any hyphenated word that has morphed to no hyphen. For example, O-Ring, X-Ray...."
Actually, the linguistic trend is eventually to *always* remove the hyphen from a word. Hyphenation, like acronyms, tend to simplify over the years. The example that comes immediately to mind is the word coworker. It was originally hyphenated and some style guides (AP I
believe) still insist that it be hyphenated, but virtually every major dictionary says no. We are seeing the same thing happening right now with e-mail and other commonly hyphenated words.
As for me, I choose to hyphenate any time that there is any doubt at all no matter what the style guides or dictionaries say. I think it removes the possible confusion over pronunciation. I also tend to hyphenate all "e-" words for that same reason. Same with our "i-"
words. It's funny now, but my first introduction to itunes came about with disastrous social consequences. But that's just me and my linguistic side overriding the more responsible and anal-retentive editing side.
And as a side note, Chicago 15 does mandate the hyphen for all "e-"
terms (7.90 Compounds Formed with Specific Terms).
Long Live Descriptivism!!!
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