Sunday, August 21, 2005

USAToday article creates buzz about the word "mashup"

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? (That is the question)....

Last week the Google Maps Mania URL appeared in a column by Kevin Maney in USAToday. The article caught the attention of a blogger who has discussed my use of the word "mashup" here on GMM.

From his blog post:

It's not clear to me whether the word "mashup" will end up with or without the hyphen after the haze settles.

Maney uses the hyphenated version but the googlemapsmania site doesn't.


Me, I always opt for the simpler approach so I'm going bare from here on out.

From the start, I've never really used a hyphen in the word but this person pointed out that Kevin used the hyphen in the article. Who is right? By journalism standards, I'm sure Kevin is, but this is the blogosphere! :)

This initial posting spawned another at a blog called Zuckervati. In this post, Mr. Zuckervati discusses the issue:

So, should the hyphen stay or go? Should it remain a compound noun-ized transitive verb, or should we take the plunge and make it a whole new word?

There are many precedents for losing the hyphen, as is seen in the language of modern computer words, such as: inkjet, laptop, hyperlink, flamewar, firewire, email, etc. However, there are still people out there (like my mom) who use Wi-Fi, scroll-bar, and MS-DOS.
(read the entire post)

This person is obviously an English major. :) I think after reading this series of discussions, I will continue to use the unhyphenated <:)> version of the word to see how things spread from there. Will folks like Kevin Maney switch to the Google Maps Maniaized (should I hyphenate that?) version of the word? Will all traditional media follow suit and start to use the word that proliferates around the blogosphere? Time will tell as thisphenomenonn continues.

Where do you stand? I'd like to hear your comments! :)

(In an unrelated matter the Zuckervati blogger appears to be trying to start terminology of his own by coining the Google Maps placemarker a "ZuckerPegg" - a combination of his domain name and my last name... Heh.)
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