RE: lifecycle or life-cycle or life cycle

Subject: RE: lifecycle or life-cycle or life cycle
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 09:58:31 -0700

What ever happened to the natural evolution of language? A compound
generally starts open (life cycle), migrates to hyphenated (life-cycle), and
ends up closed (lifecycle). Many of us have been in the business long enough
to remember when online help was on-line help or even "on line" help. Jeesh,
when I was a kid, there was a hyphen in cooperation!

To quote CMS 14 (sorry, 15 is at work and I'm home), para 6.38:
---begin quote---
For some years now, the trend in spelling compound words has been away from
the use of hyphens. There seems to be a tendency to spell compounds solid as
soon as acceptance warrants their being considered permanent compounds, and
otherwise to spell them open. This is a trend, not a rule, but it is
sometimes helpful, when deciding how to spell some new combination, to
remember that the trend exists.
---end quote---

So, if you believe that the two words "life" and "cycle" are a temporary
compound (and that all the fuss about it in the software industry is just a
flash in the pan <g>), leave them open. If, however, you think that
lifecycle has earned the title of permanent compound in your industry, spell
it closed.

HTH!
-Sue Gallagher



> An intelligent, literate reader will wonder whether by "lifecycle" the
> writer intended something different from "life cycle", and, if not, then
> why the writer didn't use the standard English noun. Is it because the
> writer didn't know any better and couldn't be arsed to look it up in a
> proper dictionary? Is it because of a misprint? Is there a missing
> paragraph somewhere that would have explained the similarities and
> differences between a life cycle and a "lifecycle"?

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References:
RE: lifecycle or life-cycle or life cycle: From: West, Michael

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