Subject: Re: CVS commit: src/dist/am-utils/fsinfo
To: Perry E. Metzger <>
From: Richard Earnshaw <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/08/2003 16:33:25
> (John Nemeth) writes:
> > } co-ordinate -> coordinate, etc. Igor Sobrado, PR misc/19813
> > 
> >      Actually, the first is correct.
> The Merriam Webster Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary
> both disagree with you. I tend to believe them.

Fowler (Modern English Usage)[1] prefers dropping the hyphen in this case.

In fact, he goes on to say that for technical words then the hyphen should 
generally be dropped *if the reader can be expected to know the word 

It's really a matter of flow: if the reader would have to pause and go 
back and re-read what was written a second time, then a hyphen would 
probably be required; otherwise, it's safe to drop it.  Hence unusual 
combinations of words should probably be hyphenated, but common word pairs 
need not be.

Of course, the hyphen should never be dropped if it could lead to an 
ambiguous meaning (de-tail, detail).


[1] Which isn't quite so modern these days, but it's still a good source 
of information on issues like this.