Monday, December 20, 2021

Home town or hometown

One of the important functions of my job profile is to check the accuracy of facts and language.

To check facts, I do a lot of Googling so much so that the search engine, mistaking me for a robot, often makes me jump over human-verification hoops!

To check the accuracy of language, I turn to online dictionaries. 

When I began my career in the pre-computer era, we had just one dictionary on the desk, and all of us went by that. It used to be mostly Oxford.

Today, we have at least six well-known dictionaries that are just a click away. But sometimes that has only made the task difficult.

Though all of them give us the same meaning, there are inconsistencies, especially in usage. Here is a good example.

Home town or hometown?

These dictionaries say it's two words




And these say it's one word


Collins is a collaboration between and Oxford University Press. But still, Lexico and differ.

Longman says it's two words in British English and one word in American English.

Macmillan and Collins say it can be either two words or one word.