PDA

View Full Version : Is it stepdad, step-dad, or step dad?



DeadlyAccurate
09-22-2006, 07:56 PM
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.

pash
09-22-2006, 08:13 PM
Stepdad (from stepfather) is fine.

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

Mandy-Jane
09-24-2006, 08:24 AM
I agree with pash. But I also think step-dad would be okay too. After all, it is two words joined together.

pash
09-24-2006, 10:28 AM
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?

Mandy-Jane
09-24-2006, 10:35 AM
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.

September skies
09-24-2006, 11:20 AM
In the AP Stylebook, it is stepdad (well, they mention stepfather)

newmod
09-24-2006, 12:32 PM
According to Collins you can use both, although they list it with the spelling "stepfather".

Medievalist
09-24-2006, 07:39 PM
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

DeadlyAccurate
09-26-2006, 04:27 AM
Just a quick thanks to everyone for your responses. I went with "stepdad."

Declan
09-26-2006, 02:26 PM
Howdy,

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

Dec.