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Old 09-21-2007, 07:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Richard Waller View Post
Hot from the press, the new Shorter Oxford English Dictionary highlights the decreasing use of the hyphen. 16000 words have lost their hyphens. Apparently it is too much trouble for users of txt and email, so out they go.

Fig leaf and pot belly are now separate words. Pidgeonhole and leapfrog are merged together.
I thought the trend of turning hyphenated terms into a single word had been well established long ago.

Just dropping the hyphen is new to me, or at least I haven’t noticed much of that going on.

But I have never seen fig leaf with a hyphen anyway.

Also have only seen potbelly or pot belly — don’t remember any hyphen there. In our dictionaries, the noun form is shown as either two words or one, while potbellied is always a single word.

Perhaps these are variations in our usage.

I often see wrongly hyphenated terms (phrases which need the hyphen when used as a modifier but retain it as nouns), and if those were to disappear I would be quite happy.

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