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Compound Words Typographic Technical Series for Apprentices #36   By: (1860-1940)

Book cover

First Page:

TYPOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SERIES FOR APPRENTICES PART VI, NO. 36

COMPOUND WORDS

A STUDY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF COMPOUNDING, THE COMPONENTS OF COMPOUNDS, AND THE USE OF THE HYPHEN

BY FREDERICK W. HAMILTON, LL. D.

EDUCATIONAL DIRECTOR UNITED TYPOTHET├ć OF AMERICA.

PUBLISHED BY THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION UNITED TYPOTHETAE OF AMERICA 1918

COPYRIGHT, 1918 UNITED TYPOTHETAE OF AMERICA CHICAGO, ILL.

PREFACE

The subject of compounds is one of the most difficult of the matters relating to correct literary composition. The difficulty arises from the fact that usage, especially in the matter of the presence or absence of the hyphen, is not clearly settled. Progressive tendencies are at work and there is great difference of usage, even among authorities of the first rank, with regard to many compounds in common use.

An attempt is made to show first the general character of the problems involved. Then follows a discussion of the general principles of compounding. The general rules for the formation of compounds are stated and briefly discussed. The various components of compounds are fully analyzed and tabulated. The best modern usage in the matter of the employment of the hyphen is set forth in a series of rules. The whole is concluded by practical advice to the compositor as to the use of the rules in the actual work of the office.

CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION 1

GENERAL PRINCIPLES 4

ACCENT IN COMPOUNDING 5

THE FORMATION OF COMPOUNDS 6

COMPONENTS OF COMPOUNDS 7

RULES FOR THE USE OF THE HYPHEN 9

SUPPLEMENTARY READING 16

REVIEW QUESTIONS 17

COMPOUND WORDS

INTRODUCTION

The English language contains a great many words and phrases which are made up of two or more words combined or related in such a way as to form a new verbal phrase having a distinct meaning of its own and differing in meaning from the sum of the component words taken singly. Income and outgo , for example, have quite definite meanings related, it is true, to come and go and to in and out , but sharply differentiated from those words in their ordinary and general signification. We use these compound words and phrases so commonly that we never stop to think how numerous they are, or how frequently new ones are coined. Any living language is constantly growing and developing new forms. New objects have to be named, new sensations expressed, new experiences described.

Sometimes these words are mere aggregations like automobile , monotype , sidewalk , policeman and the like. Sometimes, indeed very often, they are short cuts. A hatbox is a box for carrying a hat, a red haired man is a man with red hair. A bookcase is a case to contain books, etc.

Sometimes the phrase consists of two or more separate words, such as well known or nicely kept . Sometimes it consists of words joined by a hyphen, such as boarding house , sleeping car . Sometimes it consists of a single word formed by amalgamating or running together the components, such as penholder , nevertheless .

In which of these forms shall we write the phrase we speak so easily? How shall we shape the new word we have just coined? Which of these three forms shall we use, and why? Ordinarily we look for the answer to such questions from three sources, historical development, the past of the language; some logical principle of general application; or some recognized standard of authority. Unfortunately we get little help from either of these sources in this special difficulty.

The history of the language is a history of constant change. The Anglo Saxon tongue was full of compounds, but the hyphen was an unknown device to those who spoke it. The English of Chaucer, the period when our new born English tongue was differentiated from those which contributed to its composition, is full of compounds, and the compounds were generally written with a hyphen... Continue reading book >>




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