Style guide changes

Where I work, we recently agreed a few minor changes to our style guide. We're now using:

  • cashflow instead of the Oxford English Dictionary's 'cash flow'
  • seatbelt instead of the OED's 'seat belt' or our previous 'seat-belt'
  • T-shirt instead of our previous 'teeshirt'

So we're moving away from the OED when it comes to compound nouns. At least we're now in agreement with the dictionary over 'T-shirt'.

4 comments:

Martin (riverScrap.com) said...

Good news. I tend to think that hyphens are the luddites of language, obstinately standing in the way of full lexicalisation.

I particularly dislike 'co-operate' and 'co-ordinate'. And trying to decide when to use a hyphen in a 're-' word is just torture.

Virtual Linguist said...

I think you're right not to use the OED as arbiter of modern usage. It's more of a historical dictionary, best used to see when a word entered English, or when a noun became a verb (eg handbag, text), or when a word changed its meaning.
I once pointed out an error in an OED definition (it was to do with animal classifications). I got a reply saying the particular word was last edited in the 1890s but they would get round to correcting the error eventually!

Virtual Linguist said...

Martin - it could be worse. Co-operate and co-ordinate sometimes used to be spelt with a diaeresis ie coöperate and coördinate.
See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_with_diacritics
(List_of_English_words_with_diacritics is what comes after the slash)

Apus said...

As Fowlers says (sort of) hyphens are awkward buggers at the best of times. For example, I prefer re-ignite to the OED-approved reignite simply because reignite always makes me want to pronounce it as 'rainite' (but that's my problem). I prefer teeshirt to T-shirt simply because the capital and hyphen seem rather inelegant, but let's not fall out over it.