Proofread vs proof read or proof-read

There are three definate ways to refer to this activity and the person that does it:

  1. proof read, proof reading, proof reader
  2. proof-read, proof-reading, proof-reader
  3. proofread, proofreading, proofreader

Web searches reveal that all of these are currently used on the internet. Although, the third style of spelling (proofread, etc.) produces a higher yield than the others, suggesting that it is the most popular pattern of spelling.

Language evolution

Language forms the foundations of our societies, as it enables us to cooperate with each other and build communities locally and globally. A large userbase of a language will always encourage disagreement across its wide spectrum of personalities, so we should expect some disagreement from time to time. However, linguists have long since recognised that, due to the inevitable evolution of language, there is not necessarily a right, or wrong, way to use language.

The etymological pattern of change

A standard etymological pattern of change starts with: an open spelling of two words; then it moves on to a hyphenated compound noun; and finally, it becomes a closed spelling in the form of one word.

Proofread vs proof read or proof-read, which is correct?

Proofread, proofreading and proofreader have to be the evolutionary winners, as they represent the last stage in a word's etymological pattern of change. However, the use of the other forms is still acceptable to date, but we should expect them to die out over time.

 

 

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