[kde-doc-english]Re: Fwd: "filename" or "file name"

Friedrich W. H. Kossebau Friedrich.W.H at Kossebau.de
Tue Aug 12 21:30:29 BST 2003

Am Dienstag, 12. August 2003 15:53 schrieb Stephan Kulow:
> On Tuesday 12 August 2003 15:00, Rob Kaper wrote:
> > I never mentioned standards, just that "file name" is correct and
> > "filename" is not. There isn't really a consistent rule on compounds in
> > english, but it seems to be appropriate to apply the rule "if there's no
> > confusion, don't hyphenate or join". Thus "home run", but "greenhouse"
> > (as opposed to a green house). And file name.
> OK, then why is it keyboard, notebook, football? I can't see a confusion.
> I can only refer to
> http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/grammar/archive/compoundnouns01.html
> (not having such a big background in linguistic as you have):
>   "Just exactly how and why these three forms exist is not exactly clear,
>   but it seems likely that the process will begin with two words, become
>   hyphenated after a time, and then eventually end up as just one word.
>   It is curious that even good dictionaries sometimes disagree with how
>   compound nouns should be spelt!"

Well, nor am I a linguist, but I did read some books (yeah) by some who are 
(Steven Pinker et al.), and they left my brain to say this: write composed 
word together if they make a sense category of its own ("greenhouse", 
"football", "notebook") but write them separated if the first is just an 
additional attribute to identify the object ("the green house, not the red"). 
"Home run" still hasn't found its way to an own category, surely.

So both "file name" and "filename" might be correct, the first if there is 
general talk about names, the latter if there is explicit talk about the 
names of files.

> So instead of trying to comply to non existant standards, we should go
> for the more common spelling - and as such google results are a _perfect_
> measurement: ergo use filename.

Pardon me: What language are you heading for? International english, american 
english, or uk english? Using Google I am not sure how to interpret the 
results as there is no attribute "native speaker" available. Perhaps better 
do the statistics by all the standards ;)


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