Picky, picky, picky

Posted by R. Berg on December 28, 2001

In Reply to: People in glass houses posted by ESC on December 28, 2001

: : : : : : can someone explain me please what is it subconcept?

: : : : : : I took it from the sentece: Although the four conservation principles initially appear simple, they contain subconcepts.....

: : : : : If you take the view that the word should be 'sub-concepts' then all becomes clear. This is an example of the sloppy use of the English language leading to unnecessary, and unintended, confusion.

: : : : : The subject title that you gave to your posting - 'word that I can't finf in the dictionary' - is also sloppy usage of the language - capitalizing 'i' and changing the spelling of 'finf' to 'find' adds considerable clarity to your question.

: : : : I also notice that another word you use - 'sentece' - does not appear in the dictionary.

: : : And a merry Christmas to you.

: : Make that: Merry Christmas.

: And further more, the word was "subconcept" at all the Web sites I visited.

Make that "furthermore." Now, about "sub-": The general rule for hyphenation after a prefix is don't. "Sub" is a complete word when it's slang for submarine. It's not a word when it joins with "concept" to form a compound: it's a prefix. So "subconcept" is correct.

Exceptions: Hyphenate to avoid a double vowel, as in "anti-intellectual" (but some exceptions to this exception are accepted, as "preeminent" and "cooperate"). Hyphenate if the second element is capitalized, as in "pre-Socratic."