Compound Words are My Nemesis

You know how most writers struggle to some degree with the same things, like where to put the blasted comma, or when to em dash verses ellipse? No? Okay then I have those problems PLUS this one. I can not for the life of me seem to know which words are compound. I just type everything as single words then lose half my word count on edits. This is worthy to be blog fodder for me because it’s the SECOND time this has happened this year. No joke.

I think my brain produces a chemical that denounces the reality of a compound word. Bah! It balks. “You words need to man-up and stand alone! No more of this holding hands crap! Holding hands is for babies and lovers. You’re not lovers are you? Then you must be babies!” *Said in my best drill sergeant voice*

I also suck eggs when it comes to hyphenated words. I never-ever-never do the hyphen. *hangs head*

For your entertainment, here are a few of these complete compound and hyphen fails:

floorboards, homeroom, doorjamb, door-frame, hardbound, well-worn, tie-dye, rose-colored, bell-bottoms, tabletop, self-control, restroom, firefly, well-chewed, wallflower, flip-flops, gearshift, backtrack, floodgates, textbook, peephole, goodbye, riverbank, headband, mailbox, driveway, tiptoes, trashcan, crisscross, treetops, keypad, ashtray, midterms, schoolgirls

I’m going to stop there because as you can see —– I’M RIDICULOUS.

Do you guys do anything completely obnoxious like this when you write? I also type the word and as adn Every. Single. Time then have to go back and correct it. Why do I think being a writer is a good idea for me again LOL :)

Anyone else?

9 comments to Compound Words are My Nemesis

  • I hear ya! I do these too… I use too many elipses and love hypens. Mostly I just use whatever feels right with the first draft then go back and clean it up later. And I’m always misspelling easy words like “and” because I’m typing too impatiently!!! :)

  • I type “teh” most of teh time.

  • Don’t feel bad. I always misspell “address”, “necessary”, “vacuum”, confuse “effect” with “affect”, have to think really hard about whether to use the apostrophe in “its”, and I use dashes as my default punctuation, when I’m not absolutely sure what to put.

    See? If you feel bad, that means I should feel terrible…

  • Nancy Kelley

    Don’t retype and–tell autocorrect to fix it for you. I have several classic typos programmed into Word so I don’t have to worry about them.

    I tend to make hyphenated words compound. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I know I’ve had to go through and fix several. And I also confuse affect with effect. Don’t get me started on lie/lay and lay/laid!! *breaks out in hives*

  • What Nancy said ^^ – Just program words into your auto-correct in Word. I had those in there as well. That way, when you spell “adn”, it will automatically change to “and”! YAY!

    Also, Nancy, as for “affect” and “effect” – think of it like this: an affect causes something…and the effect is what it causes! (in case you still had trouble) So, is it the cause? Or was it caused?

    Julie, I feel your pain. There are some compound words that I just plain make up. Then my program says, “NO! THOSE ARE TWO! WORDS!” and it slaps me in the face. Harsh, yes, but I’m starting to learn my lesson.

    Best of luck to you!

  • T.J

    Well, Hyphenated and compound words are my enemies, too. I feel your pain. I never understood the rule behind these, since English isn’t my first language. I type everything as a single word…well, note here my exception as I wrote every thing as one word!!! LOL
    Good luck!

  • I depend on my Word dictionary. When I don’t believe that I Google. When that is less than satisfying, I Bing. When that doesn’t work I ask my wife.

  • EL

    Yep, thank goodness for spell check! Too bad it can’t do grammar checks as well to tell you where to put the hyphens, etc., in the right places. Always have a hard time with that. In fact, Sometimes I have trouble with typing: guess it just comes with the writing territory.

  • Hi Julie! I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. If you would like to visit my blog and read my most recent post, you can read the rules and do your own nominations.

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