Re: Online vs. On-line

Subject: Re: Online vs. On-line
From: Kent Newton <KentN -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 06:18:00 PST

On Wednesday, February 07, 1996 9:14 PM, TECHWR-L wrote:
>Joyce Flaherty writes:

>>When I protested, they said, "After we talked to you, we consulted a
>>grammarian. The proper spelling is on-line." They did apologize to
>>me. They did admit error in changing the name of our product. BUT,
>>they implied that there is something very wrong with naming a system
>>Xxxxxxx Online (one word, no hyphen). What do you think?

>FWIW, the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed., while it does not give
specific
>examples, has this to say about compound words in general:

>"GENERAL PRINCIPLES

>"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."

>So, to those who declare authoritatively (if not piously) that "on-line"
is
>*THE* correct spelling, I ask simply: "What is your source of
authority?"
>On what grounds do you insist so fervently?

>I agree with others who have said that longterm trends and usage will
>eventually settle the issue, however the debate rages. And, after all,
>isn't that one of the marvelous things about our English language, its
>flexibility and constantly-changing nature?

>Chuck Beck
>cbeck -at- bgnet -dot- bgsu -dot- edu


Don't you mean "constantlychanging" nature?

Kent Newton
Senior Technical Writer
Metrix, Inc.
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com


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