Today’s one-word prompt, “one-way,” is interesting. It’s a hyphenated word, which makes me wonder if taking two, independent words and sticking a hyphen between them creates a single word or is it still two words connected by a hyphen?
I did a little research to find the answer. First I Googled “is a hyphenated word one word or two?” I found out that there is no definitive answer. I also found out that the question is only really relevant to those who need to manage their word counts, like for manuscripts, articles, or blog posts in response to writing prompts with word-count limits.
Then I tried an experiment. I wrote the sentence, “Don’t drive the wrong way down a one-way street,” in Microsoft Word, in the WordPress editor, and in Pages, a word processing/text editing app on my iPhone.
Microsoft Word counted nine words in that sentence. So did WordPress. But Pages counted ten words. So both Word and WordPress count hyphenated words as a single word, But Pages does not. Good to know, since I often use Pages for the first draft of my WordPress posts.
It seems, according to many of the sites I visited during my research, that the generally accepted rule is that a compound word separated by a hyphen should be treated as a single word.
So okay, WordPress, “one-way” can be used as a one-word prompt. I’ll give that to you.