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

From: Thomas Schneider <schneidt@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 18:01:08 +0100
Message-Id: <CFD8F12C-E6A0-485A-83F2-1E34D7BBF1D8@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: W3C OWL Working Group <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
If I may throw in my 2p or 2c worth:

The Oxford Manual of Style says the following (I know it's British,  
but it also has a comment on US practice).

"Words with prefixes are often set as one word, but use a hyphen to  
avoid confusion or mipronunciation, particularly where there is a  
collision of vowels or consonants: ... re-rentry pro-life non- 
negotiable de-ice ... non-effective"

"The hyphen is used less in US practice. Words beginning with non- and  
re-, for example, are often set as one word: noneffective,  
nonnegotiable, reelect, reenter"

"Use a hyphen to avoid confusion where a prefix is repeated (re- 
release, sub-subcategory) or to avoid confusion ... (... un-ionized)."

"Hyphenate prefixes and combining forms before a capitalized name, a  
numeral, or a date: anti-Darwinism pre-1990s mid-August ...



On 22 Apr 2009, at 16:58, Sandro Hawke wrote:

>> 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

|  Dr Thomas Schneider                         schneider@cs.man.ac.uk  |
|  School of Computer Science       http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~schneidt  |
|  Kilburn Building, Room 2.114                 phone +44 161 2756136  |
|  University of Manchester                                            |
|  Oxford Road                                             _///_       |
|  Manchester M13 9PL                                      (o~o)       |

Sutton and Cheam (ns.)
   Sutton and Cheam are two kinds of dirt into which all dirt is  
   'Sutton' is the dark sort that always gets on the light-coloured
   things, and 'cheam' the light-coloured sort that always clings on to
   dark items. Anyone who has ever found Marmite stains on a dress- 
   or seagull goo on a dinner jacket a) knows all about sutton and  
   and b) is going to some very curious dinner parties.

                   Douglas Adams, John Lloyd: The Deeper Meaning of Liff
Received on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 17:01:49 UTC

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