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web-something

English translation: How long is a piece of string?

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17:14 Aug 9, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics / grammar
English term or phrase: web-something
which is the correct way of spelling words with "web"?
website? web site? web-site?
webdesign? web design? web-design?

is there any general rule or tradition or...?

thanks in advance!
zmejka
Local time: 11:06
English translation:How long is a piece of string?
Explanation:
Zmejka, the answer is that all of them might be acceptable for different compounds.

Internet related vocab is a classic example of how language and its orthographic representation develops to reflect the frequency of use and how established certain terms become in our daily lexicon.

There is a general trend for word formation where two words become one over time via an interim period of hyphenation!

Thus horseman probably started life as horse man and then spent a period as horse-man - do you see what I mean?

Sometimes you will find that 2 or even all three versions are acceptable usage at the same time, and that preference will vary depending on house style, geography etc.

But to be specific I would say that for the examples that you provide, the most common spellings (in the UK at least) are:
website (through frequent usage it has earned the status of a word in its own right).

web design (two words)

As for others:
webmaster (one word, a neoligism with strong precedents in words like postmaster).

Web page (two words - sometimes it is also I think to do with how well two words mesh together phonetically - b and p are awkward to pronounce in one word)

So to summarise, there is no single rule, but there are various regular factors which might influence which you choose.

Hope this helps

Selected response from:

Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Dan! And thanks to the rest of you for your opinions and comments! :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +8How long is a piece of string?
Libero_Lang_Lab
5 +1Is there one main stress or two?xxxR.J.Chadwick
4 +1see commentsxxxtazdog
4 +1like web browser
Clauwolf
4website, webdesign
Abdul Mukhid


  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
like web browser


Explanation:
no hyphen, in general

Clauwolf
Local time: 05:06
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Libero_Lang_Lab: alas the truth is sometimes not as simple as we would like it to be,
58 mins

agree  Fuad Yahya: common looseness notwithstanding, "web site" and "web design" are still the standard. "Website" is steadily gaining ground. By my reckonning, "webdesign" is not.
1 day5 hrs
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
website, webdesign


Explanation:
Usually the two words are not separated. However, I am not sure wheteher there have been any rules for thst.

Abdul Mukhid
Indonesia
Local time: 15:06
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Indonesian, Native in JavaneseJavanese
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
How long is a piece of string?


Explanation:
Zmejka, the answer is that all of them might be acceptable for different compounds.

Internet related vocab is a classic example of how language and its orthographic representation develops to reflect the frequency of use and how established certain terms become in our daily lexicon.

There is a general trend for word formation where two words become one over time via an interim period of hyphenation!

Thus horseman probably started life as horse man and then spent a period as horse-man - do you see what I mean?

Sometimes you will find that 2 or even all three versions are acceptable usage at the same time, and that preference will vary depending on house style, geography etc.

But to be specific I would say that for the examples that you provide, the most common spellings (in the UK at least) are:
website (through frequent usage it has earned the status of a word in its own right).

web design (two words)

As for others:
webmaster (one word, a neoligism with strong precedents in words like postmaster).

Web page (two words - sometimes it is also I think to do with how well two words mesh together phonetically - b and p are awkward to pronounce in one word)

So to summarise, there is no single rule, but there are various regular factors which might influence which you choose.

Hope this helps



Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Dan! And thanks to the rest of you for your opinions and comments! :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Paul Mably
1 hr
  -> Cheers!

agree  luskie: I like so much the "hystory of horseman"! :-)
1 hr
  -> I thought you might like that one - I put it in specially for you.

agree  Cilian O'Tuama: well put!
1 hr
  -> My thanks to you sir

agree  jerrie: To be quite honest, I still don't know if I should be hyphening or not...it depends on my mood on the day.
1 hr
  -> As Andre Gide said, the colour of truth is neither black nor white, but grey

agree  Magda Dziadosz: impressed!
4 hrs

agree  Ildiko Santana: hats off! (hats-off??? ;D )
6 hrs

agree  Milana_R
7 hrs

agree  Sarah Ponting
14 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
see comments


Explanation:
Info. from different style guides:

· Web, a proper noun (there is only one World Wide Web), so it should always be capitalized when used to refer to the whole Web.
· webmaster, not capitalized
· website, Web site, both are common, although we are leaning toward the use of "website."
http://www.lowendmac.com/styleguide/index.shtml

Web: short name for the World Wide Web; Net is the short name for the Internet
Webmaster; Web page; Web site
http://www.computer.org/author/style/vwxyz.htm#W

As far as design, I believe that “web design,” two words, is the more acceptable form

Hope it helps.



    as noted
xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Paul Mably
55 mins
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Is there one main stress or two?


Explanation:
A rule of thumb (that may not always work) is to see if the term is prounced with one main stress or two.

An everyday example might be the pair "blackbird" (the species - one main stress on the first syllable) and "black bird" (any bird of black colour -- two more or less equally stressed syllables).

The third possibility, separating the two parts of the term with a hyphen is a kind of halfway house where the two parts of the expression have not yet quite gelled into a single item.

xxxR.J.Chadwick
Local time: 16:06

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Libero_Lang_Lab: a good point well made
13 hrs
  -> Thank you for your support
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