Spellings Part 13 – Some that might trip you up
Today we look at another ten spellings, based on the New Oxford Style Manual, which can cause some confusion. Sometimes people add hyphens when they’re not necessary, and other times they leave them out and write the term as two words when it should really be hyphenated. I hope today’s post will confirm what you already know and/or prove useful. All of today’s spellings can be found in the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, and most also appear in the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, which occasionally provides a brief comment on the spelling rule.
1. topsoil = one word
2. midterm is written as one word, but
3. half-term, on the other hand, is hyphenated
4. subtotal = one word
5. resit = no hyphens
6. preconfigured = no hyphens
7. workplace = one word
8. multi-purpose = hyphenated. Here’s another example where Oxford differs from Microsoft’s spellchecker, as the latter is quite happy to accept this written as one word.
9. A level (short for GCE Advanced level, the exams we take in the UK at 18) = two words. Many people write this term with a hyphen or with inverted commas (‘A’ level), but neither are correct according to Oxford. And please also note that the ‘l’ in level is not written with a capital letter either.
10. antivirus = one word. I’m glad Oxford has decided to neaten the look of this word by removing the hyphen, but you’ll see it hyphenated everywhere.
This post was first published on 13/05/2015 on my previous blog.
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