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“to-day” and “today”
Posted: 27 March 2008 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I noticed “to-day” in the intertitles of an old movie and trip to Onelook turned up both “to-day” and “today” meaning the present day. Websters seems to have switched somewhere between 1913 and the present. What are your thoughts on when and why?

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Posted: 27 March 2008 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have a notebook dated 1955 which spells it “to-day”.  I guess it’s just easier and quicker to leave out the hyphen.

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Posted: 27 March 2008 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Like many such combinations, it has gone from being written as two separate words (to day) to hyphenated, to a single unhypenated word.  The “to day” form is common in OED citations up to the 18th century, the hyphenated up through the 19th.

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Posted: 30 March 2008 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Same with “no one”

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Posted: 30 March 2008 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Same with “no one”

Say what?  Unlike today, no one written separately remains the standard form, the hypenated no-one is a rare variant, and the fused norm noone remains so decidedly non-standard that even descriptivist Dave Wilton called it an error.

I don’t see how the cases of today and no one can be described as the “same”.

[ Edited: 30 March 2008 02:15 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 30 March 2008 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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A better example might be base ball. There was a time when base ball, base-ball, and baseball could all be found.

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Posted: 30 March 2008 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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’Cording to etymonline, the unhyphenated, single word form was known in OE.

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Posted: 30 March 2008 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes, the OED has 3 citations from the OE period: one showing the fused form, one showing the hyphenated form, and one showing the separated form (which is what they use in the etymology).  Those are the only instances of the fused and hyphenated forms shown until the 18th century, so it seems the Middle and early Modern English spelling was pretty uniformly as two words.

[ Edited: 30 March 2008 04:37 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 30 March 2008 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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And yet ...

I have a notebook dated 1955 which spells it “to-day”.


(Does anyone ever read my posts?)
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Posted: 31 March 2008 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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"(Does anyone ever read my posts?)”

Slavishly, as one possessed etc.

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Posted: 31 March 2008 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, the OED has 3 citations from the OE period: one showing the fused form, one showing the hyphenated form, and one showing the separated form (which is what they use in the etymology).

OED punctuation in Old English quotes is not to be relied upon as representative of how the words are actually punctuated in the manuscript. In most cases, the OED takes its versions from 19th or 20th century edited versions of the OE texts and the punctuation is that of the modern editors. AFAIK, hyphens are not found at all in OE manuscripts, nor are most of the other punctuation marks known to us today.

The “to-day” citation is from AEfric’s Homilies as edited by Benjamin Thorpe in the 1840s. There are more recent, and probably more accurate, edited versions of the Homilies.

My guess is that the word is separated in the manuscript and Thorpe added the hyphen, but you can’t tell from Thorpe’s book, which is available on Google Books. Thorpe doesn’t even tell you what manuscripts he used, much less detail his editorial practices. The more recent editions use a more transparent editorial practice.

If I remember to do so and have time, I’ll check out what the the more recent edited version say when I’m at the library tomorrow. But it may not resolve anything. You may have to look at the manuscript(s) itself to resolve this--and I don’t think facsimile versions of the Homilies are readily available.

[ Edited: 31 March 2008 06:09 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 31 March 2008 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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And yet ...

I have a notebook dated 1955 which spells it “to-day”.

(Does anyone ever read my posts?)

I read it, and haven’t said anything that contradicts it or that it contradicts.  To say that the hyphenated form was common through the 19th century is not the same as saying that it vanished utterly in the 20th.  Still less so when one specifies, as I did, that I was talking about citations in the OED, not the entire corpus of written English.

[ Edited: 31 March 2008 10:29 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 31 March 2008 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Faldage - 30 March 2008 02:37 PM

A better example might be base ball. There was a time when base ball, base-ball, and baseball could all be found.

OP Tipping - 30 March 2008 03:15 PM

‘Cording to etymonline, the unhyphenated, single word form was known in OE.

Baseball? Oh, todæge.

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Posted: 31 March 2008 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I’m surprised that Dr Techie considers ‘no-one’ a rare variant. It’s common in the UK: a quick google showed that it’s used by the Daily Telegraph and prescribed by a BBC text for teaching English as a foreign language.

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Posted: 31 March 2008 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Haven’t seen it much over here.  Neither the AHD nor the OED (in an entry updated in Sept 2007) take any editorial notice of the hyphenated spelling, although two of the OED quotations use a hyphen (but one is forming a possessive (no-one’s), which might have affected the choice to hyphenate). If you enter “no-one” in the MWO search field, it takes you to “no one”, but the entry itself does not acknowledge the hyphenated form.

It’s not that I’m opposed to the hyphenated form--one could say it’s long overdue.  “Noone” is still unacceptable in my book, though. Wordgeek’s fondness for it, expressed in the thread I linked to above, was ascribable to his policy of being deliberately difficult or to his frequently bizarre ("Zeta Reticulan") take on English (and life on Earth generally)--possibly to both.

[ Edited: 31 March 2008 10:36 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 31 March 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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“Noone” is still unacceptable in my book, though. Wordgeek’s fondness for it, expressed in the thread I linked to above, was ascribable to his policy of being deliberately difficult or to his frequently bizarre ("Zeta Reticulan") take on English (and life on Earth generally)--possibly to both.

I’m surprised that he didn’t prefer the diacritical construction noöne that he fancied in other prefixed words such as reörientation and coöperate and the like.

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