1. MissLotty
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    MissLotty Member

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    Twentysomething....

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MissLotty, Jun 10, 2011.

    Hey guys,

    In short, I’m in need of an opinion. I want to title something and I really want it to have 'Twentysomething' in there... Now my question is do I write it as

    A) Twentysomething.
    B) Twenty something.
    C) Twenty-something.

    I know it's not very important, but it’s annoying me and I am in need of a second opinion. I’m tempted by 'A' myself but which is the most socially acceptable?

    Thanks
    L x
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    A) "Twentysomething." Spellcheck will disagree, of course, but just tell her to be quiet.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I will disagree with funkybassmannick. Given that the meaning is "someone in their twenties (but we aren't saying exactly where)", I would be guided by the fact that someone who is 21 would be "twenty one", 27 would be "twenty seven". So, I would say, "twenty something". I know the TV show did it the other way. Not the first time television didn't know what they were doing.
     
  4. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Twentysomething shows up as correct in the dictionary.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Standards dropping everywhere.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd use the hyphen... so i guess it's a matter of personal style/choice...
     
  7. Phruizler
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    Except that someone who is 21 would be "twenty-one," and someone who is 27 would be "twenty-seven." Hyphens are used in numbers below 100, spaces used from 100-10,000, and commas after that.

    ie.

    twenty-seven
    one hundred twenty-seven
    fifteen thousand, one hundred twenty-seven

    C) would be the "correct" one to use, but since it's your title, you can call it whatever you like.
     
  8. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    You don't need to be a hundred percent gramatically accurate on a book title, though it does help. Having said that, the only good advice I can offer you is to choose which title is most aesthetically pleasing to you or whoever is going to read the story. If you're going commercial, choose whichever one is the most eye-catching.

    Personally, I'd go for the hyphenated one (C), but (B) is more typographically flexible in that it avoids your title from looking like a line of text if you arrange it nicely on the book cover. All in all, it boils down to personal taste, really.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Absolutely true. Ever read Pet Sematary?
     
  10. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Language is a work in progress. Dictionaries keep up with what is "correct" in the current times.
     
  11. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    If you want to convey and age between 20 and 30 then yes I like "Twentysomething". If you mean twenty and something and the something that does not mean age, then I would write it as, "Twenty Something". Also, if it is the later then it sounds too much like other titles. Try "Something Twenty".

    It is a title and you can write it any way you like.

    Personally, I do not give my stuff a title until I am finished with the first draft. One, because if you do publish they will probably have you change it any ways. Two, I get my titles from within the story.
     
  12. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    If you're using the word as a noun, i.e. a 'twentysomething', as in the person is a twentysomething because of their age, then go for A

    If you want to use it as an adjective to describe the person then go for B or C

    I personally think C would be better as an adjective though but it's up to you
     
  13. MissLotty
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    MissLotty Member

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    Hey guys,

    You've all given me a lot to ponder over...

    I do like your logic though Laura.

    Thanks to all for the advice :) xx
     
  14. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    I personally favor the hyphen. It looks pretty hot in there.
     
  15. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was just about to say that ... no, really!

    Although I have seen it written as one word and is now commonly accepted. But, with the dumbing down of the dictionary, I guess anything's possible.
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The dictionary isn't dumbed down. Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive. And I note that you have no problems with the phrase "dumbing down"...
     
  17. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    It's not 'dumbing down' it's called modernising. Words we use now that are commonly used and accepted by everyone should be added to the dictionary, just as old words people don't use should be removed in newer editions.

    Examples I found on http://www.learn-english-today.com/New-words/new-words-in-english.html ...

    carjacking
    chatroom
    newbie
    Noughties
    netspeak
    widget
     
  18. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    I'd say refrain from "twenty something", other than that it's up to you. I don't think any one of the remaining alternatives is universally accepted as the right spelling, so just go by what you feel is most aesthetically pleasing in the context.
     
  19. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Actually, someone's age spelled out should be twenty-one, twenty-seven etc. So if you're going for grammatical correctness, I'd keep the hyphen.

    But for a catchy title, it kind of flows better without the hyphen in my opinion, so I think you can take some artistic libeties there.
     
  20. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I stand corrected.
     
  21. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh. I know. And you are absolutely correct. I am always telling people that language is a living thing and, as with all living things, it is subject to 'fluid' change.

    But it still bugs me to see the inclusion of some words - some of which get added one years and, three years later, get pulled again! Perhaps a little more discretion is in order. (Sorry. Can't remember what set me off the other day but I heard something about new changes and additions in the dictionary and was appalled by the fact that some word had, indeed, been added three years prior only to be ditched again this year. I'm afraid I took it out on the collective here.)
     
  22. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    what about twentysomething

    the second bit is in italics
     
  23. digitig
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    Only if you need to emphasize the "Something".
    "She says she's twentysomething"
    "Well, twentysomething, sure. If the 'something' is about seventeen."​
    Even then I'd prefer there to be hyphens, I think.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree... in toto...
     

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