The Chicago Manual of Style (new 15th ed.) has a section on hyphens and
a paragraph on the tendency toward closed compounds (no hyphen).  They
send one to the dictionary for the distinction.  Hyphenated compounds
were more typical in the early 20th C:  as in "to-day."  But British and
US conventions vary.  In the US, "firsthand" is listed as a standard
closed compound by Websters (the dictionary noted by CMS).

>>> [log in to unmask] 11/04/04 3:43 AM >>>
The Oxfpord Dictionary of Canadian English gives
only first-hand. A good compromise?


-----Original Message-----
From: George Carless
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2004-Nov-03 1:49 PM
Subject: OT - Quick question on usage

Hi all,

I am in a conversation with the writers here at work (I am but a lowly
Web master): they want to use "firsthand" as a word at the end of a
sentence -- as in "they have experienced the dedication of our experts
firsthand".  I take the view that it should be "first hand" here (and in
fact prefer 'first hand' in most cases except for example "She
experienced firsthand our expertise".  I don't really have any basis for
this prejudice, though.  Am I right?  Am I wrong?  Can anyone weigh in?

George Carless ... [log in to unmask]
Words are just dust in deserts of soun