Startup Is A Word

Or it isn’t actually, but it should be.  I work at a startup.  Not a start-up.

A started a project named “Startup Weekend.”  It has been published as Start-Up Weekend several times in newspapers.  This bugs me.  Startup not start-up please.

This bug anyone else?

  • @andrewhyde It's one of those words that begin as a “coined term”, requiring the hyphen… but I agree. There's no reason for it to still have it. It's used commonly enough… but even dictionaries have yet to acknowledge it.

  • Charlie

    How about “early-stage-venture weekend”? Rolls off the tongue.

  • I have the same pet peeve with email vs. e-mail.

  • it is definitely Startup

  • @outofshape

    It is definitely electronic-mail :).

  • In my work, I often use a technical word that was created by an engineer with an incredibly precise definition. The word was then “borrowed” by someone in a different field because the borrower thought the word sounded cool. Blam! The word's meaning is now clear as mud, and some engineers now think of it as a crackpot term. Thank you, Carlos Castaneda. 😉

    Any sufficiently innovative field will constantly be bumping up against the limitations of language. The shedding of hyphens is only a small part of the battle. Eran Hammar-Lahav gave a sterling example when talking about closing the recently-discovered hole in OAuth security:

    “At first it took me half an hour to explain the problem,” he says. “By the next day I had the explanation down to 30 seconds.”

    That linguistic exercise was the crucial first step to the rapid resolution of the problem.

  • Derrell Durrett

    I'm thinking you'd be OK with having a term that you can defend the trademark for. Not that the newspapers shouldn't *use* the trademark. That's just lame…

  • Hyphenated words have a tendency to gracefully degrade into compound words over time. And I always think that tendency toward simplicity is a really, really good thing.

    Plus, startup saves me a character on Twitter. 😉

  • andrewhyde

    I bow down to your Turoczyness.

  • There are far worse problems with names in our society.

    The phrase “swine flu” has led to all sorts of bad puns and off-color religious jokes. Bac'n crowd aside, there are a fair number of people who have a genuine fear of cooking or eating pork products right now.

    Some people have a false sense of security — we put up with some horrible pneumatic needles (see http://is.gd/vdVN ) and got the “swine flu” vaccine back in 1976. The name may be the same, but this virus is completely different than that one; those inoculations provide essentially zero defense.

    The USWS started naming hurricanes in the early 1950s so coastal communities could track multiple storms in proximity. Perhaps the time has come to name global breakouts of disease with names: “Virus Gabriella broke out this week …”

    As Rick noted, composite words will continue to shed their vestigal hyphens over time. Whether or not that will happen in Internet Time remains to be seen.

  • grayzone

    yes it's a peeve. oh, and I like your font/layout/design…

  • andrewhyde

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for the bump on the design.

  • Danny

    it bugs me all the time, but thanks to the 'net and text speak there are far too many other words than bug me more 🙂

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  • Danny

    it bugs me all the time, but thanks to the 'net and text speak there are far too many other words than bug me more 🙂

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