Daily Archives: October 31, 2011

What is a hot dog?


Or is it hotdog?


A hot dog — or hotdog — is a sandwich made with a wiener (a sausage)…skinless or otherwise. The wiener is not a hot dog/hotdog; by itself it is just a wiener.


The hot dog/hotdog doesn't happen until it becomes a sandwich. Condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, onions) are optional. But the bun is essential.


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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


Word Fusion


Fun for Word Junkies to Consider


When I was a fledgling advertising dude — account manager and copywriter — I was faced with some editorial STYLE questions. Anybody who writes for publication is always faced with style questions. The first one to present itself was when I was responsible for 3M Company audio and video products.


We had always called our recording tapes "audio tapes" and "audio cassettes". But when we started talking about the video version of recording tapes, we had to decide whether to call them "video tapes" or "videotapes"…"video cassettes" or "videocassettes".


It didn't strike me at the time that we would be doing something for verbal posterity…combining an adjective and a noun into one cohesive, meaningful, understandable noun. Some entrepreneurs have even taken advantage and developed the fusion words into brand names for their companies and products.


We have so many examples today. Are they better as separate words, or combined into a single word…adjectives & nouns or just complex, descriptive nouns?


dining room or diningroom

health care or healthcare

poppy seeds or poppyseeds

sail boat or sailboat

word processor or wordprocessor

hot dog or hotdog

Aaron Rodgers or AaronRodgers

air force or airforce

window panes or windowpanes

sauce pan or saucepan

kitchen sink or kitchensink

bath room or bathroom

basket ball or basketball

desk top or desktop

Eli Manning or EliManning

book store or bookstore

thunder clouds or thunderclouds

General Electric or GeneralElectric

prime time or primetime

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized