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Old 09-22-2006, 08:26 PM   #1
DeadlyAccurate
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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.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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Stepdad (from stepfather) is fine.

Word doesn't like it because it's colloquial/informal.
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:54 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-24-2006, 10:58 AM   #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?
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:05 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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In the AP Stylebook, it is stepdad (well, they mention stepfather)
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:02 PM   #7
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According to Collins you can use both, although they list it with the spelling "stepfather".
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:09 PM   #8
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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
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Last edited by Medievalist; 09-26-2006 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:57 AM   #9
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Just a quick thanks to everyone for your responses. I went with "stepdad."
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:56 PM   #10
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Howdy,

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

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