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jamiehall
12-12-2006, 08:23 PM
I've seen reputable sources on both sides of the issue. I'm worried about which way to write it, because I'm probably going to put it in a query and I don't want to put off an agent. Also, I don't expect an agent's guidelines to say whether you should write "nonfiction" or "non-fiction."

Jamesaritchie
12-13-2006, 01:53 AM
Nonfiction. Not so many years ago, the only English word that didn't hyphenate "non" was "nonsense." This is no longer true. Pretty much everyone, including writing and style magazines, has been writing "nonfiction" for years. This is one change I believe to be a Good Thing.

blacbird
12-13-2006, 02:26 AM
Nonfiction. Not so many years ago, the only English word that didn't hyphenate "non" was "nonsense." This is no longer true. Pretty much everyone, including writing and style magazines, has been writing "nonfiction" for years. This is one change I believe to be a Good Thing.

I agree completely. This kind of hyphenation is (happily) dying out of written English. A century ago "today" and "tonight" were both consistently hyphenated as "to-day" and "to-night."

Got me thinking of trivia, though, other non- words like nonsense I've never seen hyphenated:

nonplussed
nonentity

caw

jamiehall
12-13-2006, 04:01 AM
Got me thinking of trivia, though, other non- words like nonsense I've never seen hyphenated:

nonplussed
nonentity

caw

I think I see nearly all the words starting with "non" unhyphenated these days, with the big exception being when the second half must be capitalized (for example, non-Christian, which would otherwise be some horrid camel case word).

Sandi LeFaucheur
12-13-2006, 02:53 PM
Depends where you are and what style book you use. Canadian Press style book says non-fiction. And the word isn't even in my Collins dictionary! (I don't always agree with CP; in fact, I've had some rip-roaring arguments at work over its spelling/grammar. I'm merely reporting what it says.0

Jamesaritchie
12-13-2006, 04:16 PM
I agree completely. This kind of hyphenation is (happily) dying out of written English. A century ago "today" and "tonight" were both consistently hyphenated as "to-day" and "to-night."

Got me thinking of trivia, though, other non- words like nonsense I've never seen hyphenated:

nonplussed
nonentity

caw

My maternal grandfather always hyphenated "today" and "tonight." I hadn't thought about that in many years.