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Time outs

Posted by Bob on November 24, 2003

In Reply to: Time outs posted by ESC on November 23, 2003

: : : : : : Recently a sports announcer said the team took two times-out during the third quarter.
: : : : : : He should have said two time-outs. Yes?

: : : : : I'd agree with you! Use of the hyphen seems optional.

: : : : Agreed. Over time, many two-word phrases in frequent use tend to grow together, from two words to hyphenation to a single word. Base ball to base-ball to baseball. Web site to web-site to website. English is the most efficient of languages.

: : : Yes. I'm re-reading Pride and Prejudice and have noticed Austen writes both everybody and forever as two words. Also, choose was then spelled chuse. I wonder why we settled on the 'oose' ending, when there was all these to chuse from: [b]ooze, [l]ose, [cr]uise, [tw]os, [l]oos (and some more I don't doubt). Why the change anyway? Chuse seems to do the job.

: : When the word was spelled "chuse," was it pronounced with a Y sound before the vowel? Is it pronounced that way now? I'm thinking of the British and cultivated American pronunciations for words like "Tuesday" and the ordinary Amer. pronunciations: "Tyoosday," "Toosday."

: Attorneys general, mothers-in-law: because the second part is modifying a noun, attorney and mother. I am not sure why time-out is time-outs. Maybe because both "time" and "out" are nouns? Or maybe because is sounds right.

There's a recurring feature in the satirical newspaper The Onion, also online (formerly on line, and on-line) at, where the elderly (fictional) publisher writes a column in stilted 19th C. English, including a great many hyphenated words. Funny.