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Thread: Is it stepdad, step-dad, or step dad?

  1. #1
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Is it stepdad, step-dad, or step dad?

    Like the subject line says: stepdad, step-dad, or step dad? Neither dictionary.com nor m-w.com come up with an answer. Word doesn't like stepdad, but I can't tell if that means step-dad is the correct answer, or if it's just one of those cases where two complete words separated by a hyphen doesn't register on the spellchecker.

  2. #2
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    Stepdad (from stepfather) is fine.

    Word doesn't like it because it's colloquial/informal.

  3. #3
    venturing ever further into the unknown Mandy-Jane's Avatar
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    I agree with pash. But I also think step-dad would be okay too. After all, it is two words joined together.
    When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.







  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandy-Jane
    I agree with pash. But I also think step-dad would be okay too. After all, it is two words joined together.
    But it's been around for an awful long time. Such compounds normally lose the hyphen after long-term use, don't they?

  5. #5
    venturing ever further into the unknown Mandy-Jane's Avatar
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    Do they? I really don't know. I just think both ways look okay. And I've seen it written both ways. You may be right.
    When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.







  6. #6
    cloud watching September skies's Avatar
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    In the AP Stylebook, it is stepdad (well, they mention stepfather)

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW newmod's Avatar
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    According to Collins you can use both, although they list it with the spelling "stepfather".

  8. #8
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    On hypenation isn general, this is a style-sheet issue, more often than not; in other words, it's a matter of usage and not one of grammar.

    Pick a dictionary and use what it uses; the publisher, if the editor sees fit, will change it if they have a different preference.

    Stepdad/step-dad/step dad is not standard usage; I can't even find it in the Blessed American Heritage. Stepfather, however, is.

    So I'd suggest just picking one, and being careful to use the same one all the time; standardization in such cases makes editors happy, even if you pick the "wrong" one to standarize on, since it's easily changed.

    Stepdad
    Last edited by Medievalist; 09-26-2006 at 05:18 AM.

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  9. #9
    Absolutely Fazed
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    Just a quick thanks to everyone for your responses. I went with "stepdad."

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Howdy,

    If it was my mother, it would be..."say hello to your new uncle..."

    Dec.

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