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Monday, July 15, 2019

Is the spelling pre recession, prerecession or pre-recession?

If you check the Macquarie and Australian Oxford dictionaries you’ll not find an entry for the spelling pre recession, prerecession or pre-recession. What are you to do if the dictionaries don’t help you?

Often words evolve over time. To-morrow became tomorrow. First, in general, if the word is not in an Australian dictionary, that would indicate the usage has not evolved enough to become a single word. If the hyphenated version doesn’t appear in the dictionary that doesn’t rule it out, but you still don’t know. Don’t fall for the trap of using dictionaries for other countries online as versions of English for different countries may evolve differently over time.

Is the usage of the two words an adjective, or adverb and perhaps should be hyphenated?

Sometimes if in doubt, perhaps the best approach, may be to rewrite the sentence. 

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

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