Underway, under way

For as long as I can remember, BBC News has adopted the single-word approach for the word underway. But it seems that it made a conscious decision about four months ago to increase its articles’ word counts and update its styleguide by introducing a space between the previously inseparable r and w. Every article in BBC News now seems to adopt the two-word style, although the odd anomaly slips through. BBC Sport, in its less formal style (particularly in live Premier League updates), is more likely to adopt the single-word style, most likely at the disgust of the house-style police on the news desk.

Some quick searches across the News site show 362 pages of results for the one-word variety, yet only 86 pages for the newly introduced two-worder. In Sport, the two worder has racked up a mere three pages of search results, the more common one-worder clocking up 100 pages.

I expect the News site’s results will close up over time, while Sport will retain its defiant imbalance.

My strong preference, for what it’s worth, is for the conflated variety. Thanks for listening. I say! Hello? Is anyone there?

Posted by Dan, 18 February, 2008 under Grammar | Thoughts

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