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How you write “proof reading” can tell you about your writing style.
Do you write proofreading as one word – or do you write proof reading as two separate words?
Or when you write proof-reading – do you use a hyphen that combines the words in “separate chunks” – a combination that’s easy to read at speed?
And what does proof-reading have to do with U-boats? Or should that be Uboats or U Boats?
I’m definitely a hyphen-user ( “The Hypen-ator” – said in an “Arnie” voice) – even though the other two forms are acceptable!
My reasoning is that the hyphen makes it easier for a reader to read at speed. Modern readers often skim and scan – especially on-line and on their mobile devices.
The old-school style is to not join the words together.
The modern style is to combine the words as one word.
The even more modern style especially for on-line writing is to use hyphens.
So, how to you write it and what does it say about your style?
Proof reader – old-school, traditional
proofreader – more modern
proof-reader – even more modern for easier reading, a possibly “anal” and over-cautious writer. Probably built model planes as a kid! (see below)
On-line is another one of those terms you can write as:
I find the combined words can be harder to read. Maybe I have a reading problem and there is no need to use hypens! I try to make it as easy as possible for my readers.
Some people find “hypenators” (as I am) to be over-cautious and even…anal!
I even hyphenate the word: e-mail rather than email
I blame it on my youth. As a boy interested in model planes and other war machinery – I would always write:
U-2 – the spy plane
So what? What can you take out of this?
If you’ve ever wondered how to write proof-reading – you realise you have options.
I argue that using a hyphen makes it easier to read and understand words when you read at speed.
Even Hypen-ator is easier to read because you can see the “root” word at a glance.
Here’s a link to a UK site that pondered the same question – how do you write proof-reader?
As the link points out – the trend is for words to start out as separate words and over time they become joined words.
I’ll take it one step further and argue that the ultra-modern style is to use hypenation to help people read at speed.
The hyphens separate and yet join the words – and avoid confusing combinations and clusters of vowels or consonants.
Style guides will often advise you to use hyphens to make it easier to read words such as antiinflammatory –
or anti-inflammatory. See how separating the vowels makes it easier to read?
The link is probably by another word nerd who loved building models of U-Boats and model planes.
Now, do we capitalise the word following the hyphen – boat or Boat?…
and here’s a link to a warning about the dangers how a quick “skim” can’t catch mistakes.
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