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Re: A note on "non" and "non-"

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 11:58:38 -0400
To: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
cc: "Boris Motik" <boris.motik@comlab.ox.ac.uk>, "'Antoine Zimmermann'" <antoine.zimmermann@deri.org>, "'W3C OWL Working Group'" <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <6434.1240415918@ubehebe>
> On 22 Apr 2009, at 13:13, Sandro Hawke wrote:
> 
> >> Oh, I see. This text does not appear in the Wiki and has indeed been
> >> added when document snapshots were generated. Not much I can do
> >> there. Thanks for this observation -- we'll keep this in mind during
> >> the next publication round.
> >
> > Yes, that's due to me.  Pubrules uses the hyphen [1], and I suspect  
> > the
> > pubrules checker requires it.
> >
> > I've forwarded your argument against it to the appropriate W3C staff
> > person, and I'll report back on the answer.
> 
> We clearly need a longer discussion on this...perhaps some telecon  
> time...or even a special F2F[1]!!!!

Well, it's more fun than some topics we could be talking about.

The official W3C answer is we can do choose which ever style we want.

I like this analysis:

    Usage differs depending on publication style. Chicago Manual of
    Style spells most compounds with the common prefixes solid (pre-,
    post-, over-, under-, pro-, anti-, re-, un-, non-, semi-, co-,
    pseud-, intra-, extra-, infra-, ultra-, sub-, super-, supra-). AP
    Style Manual is more choosy: pro- and co- are hyphenated when
    certain meanings are intended; anti- and non- are usually
    hyphenated, with some exceptions noted; post-, pre-, and over-
    follow the dictionary in general; and under-, un-, re-, semi-,
    intra-, extra-, ultra-, sub-, super-, and supra- are usually spelled
    solid. Both style books require hyphenation when the root word is a
    proper name or figures (anti-Semitic, pre-1989) and to distinguish
    homonyms (re-creation or recreation, un-ionized or unionized). In
    addition, AP requires a hyphen when the root word begins with the
    same vowel that the prefix ends in, with very few exceptions
    (re-election for AP, reelection for Chicago; pro-abortion for AP,
    proabortion for Chicago).  Words that are already hyphenated are
    joined to a prefix with a hyphen: un-self-conscious.

from http://www.nyu.edu/classes/copyXediting/Hyphens.html

Personally, I like hyphenating "non-" words, and I strongly prefer
having the hyphen when the prefix ends with the same letter as the word
starts (not just a vowel), as in "non-normative" and "non-negative".
It find it hard to read "nonnormative" and "nonnegative", and a web
search suggests they're quite rare, especially in W3C documents.

     -- Sandro
Received on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 15:58:55 GMT

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