The Project Gutenberg EBook of Compound Words, by Frederick W. Hamilton

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Title: Compound Words
       Typographic Technical Series for Apprentices #36

Author: Frederick W. Hamilton

Release Date: January 4, 2010 [EBook #30847]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Stephanie Eason,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at















Copyright, 1918
United Typothetae of America
Chicago, Ill.




The subject of compounds is one of the most difficult of the matters relating to correct literary composition. The difficulty arises from the fact that usage, especially in the matter of the presence or absence of the hyphen, is not clearly settled. Progressive tendencies are at work and there is great difference of usage, even among authorities of the first rank, with regard to many compounds in common use.

An attempt is made to show first the general character of the problems involved. Then follows a discussion of the general principles of compounding. The general rules for the formation of compounds are stated and briefly discussed. The various components of compounds are fully analyzed and tabulated. The best modern usage in the matter of the employment of the hyphen is set forth in a series of rules. The whole is concluded by practical advice to the compositor as to the use of the rules in the actual work of the office.




Introduction 1
General Principles 4
Accent in Compounding 5
The Formation of Compounds 6
Components of Compounds 7
Rules for the Use of the Hyphen 9
Supplementary Reading 16
Review Questions 17



[Pg 1]



The English language contains a great many words and phrases which are made up of two or more words combined or related in such a way as to form a new verbal phrase having a distinct meaning of its own and differing in meaning from the sum of the component words taken singly. Income and outgo, for example, have quite definite meanings related, it is true, to come and go and to in and out, but sharply differentiated from those words in their ordinary and general signification. We use these compound words and phrases so commonly that we never stop to think how numerous they are, or how frequently new ones are coined. Any living language is constantly growing and developing new forms. New objects have to be named, new sensations expressed, new experiences described.

Sometimes these words are mere aggregations like automobile, monotype, sidewalk, policeman and the like. Sometimes, indeed very often, they are short cuts. A hatbox is a box for carrying a hat, a red-haired man is a man with red hair. A bookcase is a case to contain books, etc.

Sometimes the phrase consists of two or more separate words, such as well known or nicely kept. Sometimes it consists of words joined by a hyphen, such as boarding-house, sleeping-car. Sometimes it consists of a single word formed by amalgamating or running together the components, such as penholder, nevertheless.

In which of these forms shall we write the phrase we speak so easily? How shall we shape the new word we have just coined? Which of these three forms shall we use, and why? Ordinarily we look for the answer to such questions from three sources, historical development, the past of the language; some logical principle of general application; or some recognized standard of authority.[Pg 2] Unfortunately we get little help from either of these sources in this special difficulty.

The history of the language is a history of constant change. The Anglo-Saxon tongue was full of compounds, but the hyphen was an unknown device to those who spoke it. The English of Chaucer, the period when our new-born English tongue was differentiated from those which contributed to its composition, is full of compounds, and the compounds were generally written with a hyphen. Shakespeare used many compound words and phrases some of which sound strange, if not uncouth, to modern ears, but used the hyphen much less than Chaucer. In modern times the tendency has been and is to drop the hyphen. The more general progression seems to be (1) two words, (2) two words hyphenated, (3) two words run together into one. Sometimes, however, the hyphen drops, leaving two words separated. That there is constant change, and that the change is progressing consistently in the direction of eliminating the hyphen is fairly clear. This, however, does not help us much. At what stage of the process are we with regard to any given word? Which form of the process is operating in any given case?

There are no laws or principles of universal application on which we may build a consistent system of practice. Certain general principles have been laid down and will be here set forth. While they are helpful to the understanding of the subject they are not sufficiently universal to serve as practical guides in all cases. In any event they need to be supplemented by careful study of the rules for the use of the hyphen, by careful study of the best usage in particular cases, and by thorough knowledge of the style of each particular office, as will be pointed out later. Authorities and usage differ widely, and it is often difficult to say that a particular form is right or wrong.

There is no recognized standard authority. The dictionaries do not agree with each other and are not always consistent with themselves. They may always write a certain word in a certain way but they may write another word to all appearance exactly analogous to the first in another[Pg 3] way. For example Worcester has brickwork and brasswork, but wood-work and iron-work. Webster, on the other hand, has woodwork and brick-work.

The best that the printer can do is to adopt a set of rules or style of his own and stick to it consistently. Here and there a generally accepted change, like the dropping of the hyphen from tomorrow and today will force itself upon him, but for the most part he may stick to his style. Of course, the author, if he has a marked preference, must be permitted to use his own methods of compounding except in magazine publications and the like. In such cases, when the author’s work is to appear in the same volume with that of other writers, the style of the printing office must rule and the individual contributors must bow to it.


[Pg 4]


Three general principles are laid down by Mr. F. Horace Teall which will be found useful, though they must be supplemented in practice by more specific rules which will be given later. They are as follows:

I All words should be separate when used in regular grammatical relations and construction unless they are jointly applied in some arbitrary way.

An iron fence means a fence made of iron. The meaning and construction are normal and the words are not compounded.

An iron-saw means a saw for cutting iron. The meaning is not the same as iron saw which would mean a saw made of iron. The hyphenated compound indicates the special meaning of the words used in this combination.

Ironwood is a specific name applied to a certain kind of very hard wood. Hence, it becomes a single word compounded but without a hyphen. Either of the other forms would be ambiguous or impossible in meaning.

II Abnormal associations of words generally indicate unification in sense and hence compounding in form.

A sleeping man is a phrase in which the words are associated normally. The man sleeps.

A sleeping-car is a phrase in which the words are associated abnormally. The car does not sleep. It is a specially constructed car in which the passengers may sleep comfortably.

A king fisher might be a very skilful fisherman. A kingfisher is a kind of bird. Here again we have an abnormal association of words and as the compound word is the name of a specific sort of bird there is no[Pg 5] hyphen. A king-fisher, if it meant anything, would probably mean one who fished for kings, as a pearl-diver is one who dives for pearls.

III Conversely, no expression in the language should ever be changed from two or more words into one (either hyphenated or solid) without change of sense.

Saw trimmer is not compounded because there is no change in the commonly accepted sense of either word.

Color work is not compounded because the word color, by usage common in English, has the force of an adjective, and the words are used in their accepted sense. In other languages it would be differently expressed, for example, in French it would be oeuvre, or imprimerie en couleur, work, or, printing in color.

Presswork is compounded because it has a special and specific meaning. Good or bad presswork is a good or bad result of work done on a press.

Here as everywhere in printing the great purpose is to secure plainness and intelligibility. Print is made to read. Anything which obscures the sense, or makes the passage hard to read is wrong. Anything which clears up the sense and makes the passage easy to read and capable of only one interpretation is right.



Some writers lay much stress on the influence of accent in the formation of compounds while others ignore it entirely. Accent undoubtedly has some influence and the theory may be easily and intelligibly expressed. It ought to be understood, but it will not be found an entirely safe guide. Usage has modified the results of compounding in many cases in ways which do not lend themselves to logical explanation and classification.

The general principle as stated by Mr. Teall is as follows:

When each part of the compound is accented, use the hyphen; laughter-loving.

[Pg 6]When only one part is accented, omit the hyphen; many sided.

When the accent is changed, print the compound solid; broadsword. This follows the general rule of accenting the first syllable in English words.



I Two nouns used together as a name form a compound noun unless:

(a) The first is used in a descriptive or attributive sense, that is, is really an adjective, or

(b) The two are in apposition.

Various uses of the noun as an adjective, that is, in some qualifying or attributive sense are when the noun conveys the sense of:

1. “Made of;” leather belt, steel furniture.

2. “Having the shape, character, or quality of;” diamond pane, iron ration, bull calf.

3. “Pertaining to, suitable for, representing;” office desk, labor union.

4. “Characterized by;” motor drive.

5. “Situated in, and the like;” ocean current, city life.

6. “Supporting or advocating;” union man, Bryan voter.

7. “Existing in or coming from;” Yellowstone geyser, California lemon.

8. “Originated or made by, named for;” Gordon Press, Harvard College.

Placing the two nouns in apposition is much the same as using the first as an adjective.

Such compounds are generally written as two words without the hyphen, but see specific rules for use of hyphens.

II Every name apparently composed of a plain noun and a noun of agent or verbal noun, but really conveying[Pg 7] the sense of a phrase with suffix er, or, or ing, should be treated as a compound; roller distribution.

III Possessive phrases used as specific names (generally plants) are treated as compounds.

They are hyphenated unless very common, in which case they are closed up; crane’s-bill, ratsbane.

IV Any phrase used as a specific name in an arbitrary application not strictly figurative is written as a compound; blueberry, red-coat, forget-me-not.

V Any pair of words used as one name of which the second is a noun but the first not really an adjective should be written as a compound; foster-brother, down-town, after-consideration.

As elsewhere the use of the hyphen depends largely in the familiarity of the phrase; spoilsport, pickpocket.

VI Any two words other than nouns should be treated as a compound, generally solid, when arbitrarily associated as a name; standpoint, outlook.

VII A name or an adjective made by adding a suffix to a proper name compounded of two words should be treated as a compound with a hyphen; East-Indian, New-Yorker. If the name is not inflected this rule does not apply; East India Company, New York man.

VIII Any pair or series of words arbitrarily associated in a joint sense different from their sense when used separately, should be compounded; workman-like, warlike.



Compounds having the force of nouns may be made up in several ways.

1. Two nouns used in other than their natural signification; claw-hammer.

2. A noun and an adjective used in other than their natural signification; great-uncle, dry-goods.

3. A noun and an adverb; touch-down, holder-forth.

[Pg 8]4. A noun and an adverb; down-draft, flare-back.

5. A noun and a verb; know-nothing, draw-bar.

6. A noun and a preposition; between-decks.

7. Two adjectives; high-low, wide-awake.

8. Two verbs; make-believe.

9. A verb and an adverb; cut-off, break-up.

10. A verb and a preposition; to-do, go-between.

Compounds having the force of adjectives may be made up in several ways.

1. A group of words compacted into one idea; never-to-be-forgotten.

2. Two adjectives; white-hot, ashy-blue.

3. An adjective and a participle or noun and suffix simulating a participle; odd-looking, foreign-born, bow-legged.

4. An adjective and a noun; fire-new, type-high.

5. A noun and a participle (or noun and suffix simulating a participle); hand-printed, peace-making.

6. An adverb and an adjective used together before a noun; well-bred, long-extended.

7. Two nouns used adjectively before another noun; cotton-seed oil, shoe-sewing machine, Sunday-school teacher.

8. An adjective and a noun used together before a noun; civil-service examination, free-trade literature, fresh-water sailor.

9. A verb and a noun; John Lack-land.

Four compounds occur with the force of verbs.

1. Two verbs; balance-reef.

2. A verb and a noun; silver-plate, house-break.

3. A verb and an adjective; cold-press, fine-still.

4. A verb and an adverb; cross-examine.

Several combinations are used with the force of adverbs.

1. Two adverbs; upright, henceforth.

2. A noun and an adverb; brain-sickly.

[Pg 9]3. An adjective and an adverb (or compound adjective with suffix, simulating an adverb); stout-heartedly, ill-naturedly.

4. An adjective and a verb; broadcast.

5. Two nouns; piecemeal, half-mast.

6. A noun and an adjective; cost-free, pointblank.

7. A noun and a preposition; down-stairs, above-board, offhand.



1. Hyphenate nouns formed by the combination of two nouns standing in objective relation to each other, that is, one of whose components is derived from a transitive verb:

well-wisher wood-turning
mind-reader child-study
office-holder clay-modeling

When such compounds are in very common use, and especially when they have a specific or technical meaning, they are printed solid;

typewriter stockholder
proofreader copyholder
lawgiver dressmaker

2. Hyphenate a combination of a present participle with a noun when the meaning of the combination is different from that of the two words taken separately; boarding-house, sleeping-car, walking-stick.

3. Hyphenate a combination of a present participle with a preposition used absolutely (not governing the following noun); the putting-in or taking-out of a hyphen.

4. As a rule compounds of book, house, will, room, shop, and work should be printed solid when the prefixed noun has one syllable; should be hyphenated when it contains two; should be printed in two separate words when it contains three or more;

handbook, notebook, story-book, pocket-book, reference book.

[Pg 10]clubhouse, storehouse, engine-house, power-house, business-house.

handmill, sawmill, water-mill, paper-mill, chocolate mill.

classroom, lecture-room, recitation room.

tinshop, tailor-shop, carpenter shop.

woodwork, metal-work, filigree work.

Unusual combinations such as source-book and wheat-mill are sometimes hyphenated, and the hyphen is sometimes omitted for the sake of the appearance as in school work.

5. Compounds of maker, dealer, and other words denoting occupation are generally hyphenated; harness-maker, job-printer.

The tendency is to print these words solid when they come into very common use; dressmaker.

6. Hyphenate nouns when combined in an adjectival sense before the name of the same person; the martyr-president Lincoln, the poet-artist Rosetti.

7. Compounds of store are generally hyphenated when the prefix contains one syllable, otherwise not; drug-store, fruit-store (but bookstore), provision store.

8. Compounds of fellow are hyphenated; fellow-being, play-fellow, but bedfellow.

9. Compounds of father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, parent, and foster should be hyphenated when the word in question forms the first part of the compound; father-love, mother-country, brother-officer, sister-state, daughter-cell, parent-word, foster-brother, but (by exception) fatherland.

10. Hyphenate compounds of great in phrases indicating degrees of descent; great-grandmother, great-great-grandfather.

11. Hyphenate compounds of life and world; life-history, world-influence, but (by exception) lifetime.

12. Compounds of skin with words of one syllable are printed solid, otherwise as two separate words; calfskin, sheepskin, alligator skin.

13. Hyphenate compounds of master; master-builder, master-stroke, but (by exception) masterpiece.

[Pg 11]14. Hyphenate compounds of god when this word forms the second element; sun-god, war-god, godsend, godson.

15. Hyphenate compounds of half and quarter; half-truth, quarter-circle, half-title, but on account of difference in meaning of quarter, quartermaster, headquarters.

16. These prefixes

ante- infra- re-
anti- inter- semi-
bi- intra- sub-
co- pre- super-
demi- post- tri-

are ordinarily joined to the word with which they are used without a hyphen, except when followed by the same letter as that with which they terminate or by w or y;

antechamber post-temporal
antiseptic post-graduate
anti-imperialistic prearrange
biennial pre-empt
bipartisan recast
co-equal re-enter
co-ordinate semiannual
demigod subconscious
inframarginal subtitle
international superfine
intersperse tricolor
intramural co-workers
intra-atomic co-yield

Exceptions are

(a) Combinations with proper names or adjectives derived therefrom, and long or unusual compounds;

ante-bellum sister-university
anti-license post-revolutionary
anti-security pre-Raphaelite
demi-relievo re-tammanize

(b) Words in which the omission of the hyphen would alter the sense;

re-formation reformation
[Pg 12]re-cover recover
re-creation recreation

17. The negative prefixes un, in, il, im, and a do not take a hyphen except in very rare or artificial combinations; unmanly, invisible, illimitable, impenetrable, asymmetrical.

The negative prefix non calls for a hyphen except in very common words;

non-existent non-combatant
non-interference nonsense
non-unionist nonessential

18. The prefixes quasi, extra, supra, ultra, and pan call for a hyphen;

quasi-historical supra-normal
quasi-corporation ultra-conservative
extra-mural Pan-Germanism

Ultramontaine, probably because a specific party designation, is always printed solid.

19. Over and under do not ordinarily call for a hyphen; overemphasize, underfed, but over-careful, over-spiritualistic.

20. Combinations having self and by as the first element of the compound call for a hyphen; self-evident, self-respecting, by-law, by-product, but selfhood, selfish, and selfsame.

21. Combinations of fold are printed as one word if the number contains only one syllable but as two if it contains more than one;

twofold fifteen fold
tenfold a hundred fold

22. Adjectives formed by a noun preceding like do not take a hyphen if the noun is a monosyllable, except when ending in l or a proper noun; if the noun contains more than one syllable a hyphen should be used; childlike, warlike, catlike, bell-like, Napoleon-like, but (by exception) Christlike.

23. Vice, elect, ex, general, and lieutenant as parts of titles are connected with the chief noun by a hyphen; vice-consul, ex-president, governor-elect, postmaster-general, lieutenant-colonel.

[Pg 13]24. Today, tonight, and tomorrow are printed without a hyphen.

25. In fractional numbers spelled out connect the numerator and denominator by a hyphen. “The day is three-quarters gone,” four and five-eighths, thirty-hundredths, ninety-two thousandths.

Do not use the hyphen in an instance as “One half the business is owned by Mr. Jones, one quarter by Mr. Smith, and one eighth each by Mr. Browne and Mr. Robinson.

26. Where two or more compound words occur together having one of their components in common, this component is often omitted from all but the last word and the omission indicated by a hyphen;

French-and Spanish-speaking countries, wood-iron-and steel-work, one-two-three-four and five-cent stamps.

This usage is objected to in some offices as being a Germanized form. It is however, less ambiguous than where the hyphen is omitted and is therefore preferable.

27. Ordinal numbers compounded with nouns take the hyphen in such expressions as second-hand, first-rate, and the like.

28. Numerals of one syllable take a hyphen in compounds with self-explanatory words such as four-footed, one-eyed, and the like.

29. Numerals compounded with nouns to form an adjective take the hyphen; twelve-inch rule, three-horse team, six-point lead.

30. The hyphen is used in compounding a noun in the possessive case with another noun; jew’s-harp, crow’s-nest.

31. The hyphen is used with most compounds of tree; apple-tree, quince-tree, but not when a particular object, not a tree (vegetable), is meant; whippletree, crosstree.

32. Use the hyphen in compounding two adjectives generally, especially personal epithets; asked-for opinion, sea-island cotton, dry-plate process, hard-headed, strong-armed, broad-shouldered.

[Pg 14]33. The hyphen is not used in points of the compass unless doubly compounded; northeast, southwest, north-northeast, south-southwest by south.

34. Compounds ending with man or woman are run solid; pressman, forewoman.

35. Omit the hyphen in such phrases as by and by, by the bye, good morning (except when used adjectively, a good-morning greeting,) attorney at law, coat of arms.

36. Compounds ending in holder and monger are run solid; bondholder, cheesemonger.

37. Compounds beginning with eye are run solid; eyeglass, eyewitness.

38. Compounds unless very unusual, beginning with deutero, electro, pseudo, sulpho, thermo, etc., are run solid; electrotype, pseudonym, thermostat.

39. Do not separate

meanwhile anywhere somebody
meantime anybody somehow
moreover anyhow something
forever anything sometime
everywhere anyway somewhat

In phrases like in the meantime and forever and ever the words are printed separately.

Any one and some one are separate words.

40. In compounds of color the hyphen is not used except when a noun is used with an adjective to specify color; reddish-brown, gray-white, lemon-yellow, olive-green, silver-gray.

41. Following is a list of words of everyday occurrence which should be hyphenated, and which do not fall under any of the above classifications.

after-years food-stuff sea-level
bas-relief guinea-pig sense-perception
birth-rate horse-power son-in-law
blood-relations loan-word subject-matter
common-sense man-of-war thought-process
cross-examine object-lesson title-page
[Pg 15]cross-reference page-proof wave-length
cross-section pay-roll well-being
death-rate poor-law well-nigh
folk-song post-office will-power

These rules are the consensus of opinion of a considerable number of good authorities from DeVinne (1901) to Manly and Powell (1913). The great practical difficulty is that authorities differ as to their application. DeVinne uses the dieresis instead of the hyphen in such cases as co-operate or pre-eminent, writing coöperate, preëminent. Many of the rules have exceptions and authorities differ as to the extent of the exceptions. There are many differences in the great number of unclassified compounds. For example, Manly and Powell write coat-of-arms, while Orcutt writes coat of arms. Common usage omits the hyphen from post office except when used as an adjective, e. g., post-office accounts.

A strict adherence to the rules given would probably result, not in bad composition, but in a much greater use of hyphens than would be found on the pages of many recent books from the presses of some of the best publishers. This is due partly to the fact that usage has never been strictly uniform and partly to the constant progressive change noted at the beginning of this study. We are gradually discontinuing the use of the hyphen just as we are diminishing our use of capital letters, punctuation marks, and italics.

The compositor should ground himself thoroughly in the principles and rules. He should learn the best usage with regard to special words and phrases. He should master the office style. He should follow copy if the author has distinct and definite ideas which are not absolutely wrong and would not introduce inconsistencies in magazines and the like by violating the office style which is followed in other parts of the same publication. If it is clear that the author knows what he wants, the compositor should follow copy. Questions of correctness and conformity to style belong not to him but to the copy editor and proofreader.



[Pg 16]


English Compound Words and Phrases. By Francis Horace Teall. Funk & Wagnalls, New York.

The Compounding of English Words, When and Why Joining or Separation is Preferable. By Francis Horace Teall. J. Ireland, New York.

Correct Composition. By Theodore L. De Vinne. The Oswald Publishing Co., New York.

A Manual for Writers. By John Matthews Manly and John Arthur Powell. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

The Writer’s Desk Book. By William Dana Orcutt. Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York.



[Pg 17]


1. What is meant by a “compound”?

2. What is the purpose of a compound?

3. In what three forms do compounds appear?

4. Where should we expect to find guidance in the choice of these forms?

5. Do we so find it, and why?

6. What tendency is observable in usage regarding compounds?

7. What can the printer do?

8. Give Teall’s rules, and show the application of each.

9. What is the influence of accent in compounding?

10. What is the rule about two nouns used together to form a name?

11. What is the rule about names composed of a plain noun and a verbal noun?

12. How are possessive phrases used as specific names treated?

13. What is the rule about phrases used as specific names?

14. How do you write a pair of words used as a name when the second word is a noun and the first not really an adjective?

15. How do you treat two words, not nouns, arbitrarily used as a name?

16. How do you treat a compound consisting of a suffix and a compound proper name?

17. How do you treat words so associated that their joint sense is different from their separate sense?

18. How may compounds having the force of nouns be made up?

19. How may compounds having the force of adjectives be made up?

20. How may compounds having the force of verbs be made up?

[Pg 18]21. How may compounds having the force of adverbs be made up?

22. How are compound nouns written when one of the components is derived from a transitive verb?

23. How is a compound of a present participle and a noun written?

24. How is a compound of a present participle and a preposition treated?

25. What is the usage in compounds of book, house, will, room, shop, and work?

26. How are compounds of maker and dealer written?

27. What is done when nouns are combined in a descriptive phrase before a name of a person?

28. How are compounds of store treated?

29. How are compounds of fellow treated?

30. How are compounds of father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, parent, and foster treated?

31. What compounds of great are hyphenated?

32. How are compounds of life and world treated?

33. What is the rule about compounds of skin?

34. How are compounds of master treated?

35. What is the rule about compounds of god?

36. Give fifteen common prefixes and tell how they are used, stating exceptions.

37. What are the negative prefixes and how are they used?

38. What is the rule about the prefixes quasi, extra, supra, ultra, and pan?

39. What is the rule about over and under?

40. What is the rule about compounds of self and by?

41. How are compounds of fold treated?

42. What is the rule about compounds of a noun followed by like?

43. How are titles treated when compounded with vice, elect, ex, general, and lieutenant?

44. How do you write three familiar compounds denoting time?

45. How should you treat fractional numbers spelled out?

46. What is done when two or more compound words with a common component occur in succession?

[Pg 19]47. How do you write compounds of ordinal numbers and nouns?

48. What rule is given about numerals of one syllable?

49. What rule is given about numerals compounded with nouns?

50. How do you treat a compound of two nouns one in the possessive case?

51. How are compounds of tree treated?

52. What is the rule about compounds of two adjectives?

53. What is the rule about points of the compass?

54. What should you do with compounds ending in man or woman?

55. Give certain common typical phrases which omit the hyphen.

56. How do you treat compounds ending in holder and monger?

57. How do you treat compounds beginning with eye?

58. What is said of compounds beginning with deutero, electro, pseudo, sulpho, thermo, and the like?

59. Give some common compounds which are always run solid.

60. How are compounds of color treated?

61. Are these rules universally followed?

62. What is the duty of the compositor in these cases, especially when doubtful?

In this volume, as in so many in this section, much depends upon practice drills. The memorizing of rules is difficult and is of very little use unless accompanied by a great deal of practice so that the apprentice will become so thoroughly familiar with them that he will apply them at once without conscious thought. He should no more think of the rule when he writes fellow-man, than he thinks of the multiplication table when he says seven times eight are fifty-six. This drill may be given in several ways, by asking the student to explain the use or omission of hyphens in printed matter, by giving written matter purposely incorrect in parts and asking him to set it correctly, or by giving dictations and having the apprentice write out the matter and then set it up. Later, when it will not be too wasteful of time, the apprentice can be given the ordinary run of copy as customers send it in and told to set it in correct form. He will probably find enough errors in it to test his knowledge of compounding and of many other things.



[Pg i]


The following list of publications, comprising the Typographic Technical Series for Apprentices, has been prepared under the supervision of the Committee on Education of the United Typothetae of America for use in trade classes, in course of printing instruction, and by individuals.

Each publication has been compiled by a competent author or group of authors, and carefully edited, the purpose being to provide the printers of the United States—employers, journeymen, and apprentices—with a comprehensive series of handy and inexpensive compendiums of reliable, up-to-date information upon the various branches and specialties of the printing craft, all arranged in orderly fashion for progressive study.

The publications of the series are of uniform size, 5 x 8 inches. Their general make-up, in typography, illustrations, etc., has been, as far as practicable, kept in harmony throughout. A brief synopsis of the particular contents and other chief features of each volume will be found under each title in the following list.

Each topic is treated in a concise manner, the aim being to embody in each publication as completely as possible all the rudimentary information and essential facts necessary to an understanding of the subject. Care has been taken to make all statements accurate and clear, with the purpose of bringing essential information within the understanding of beginners in the different fields of study. Wherever practicable, simple and well-defined drawings and illustrations have been used to assist in giving additional clearness to the text.

In order that the pamphlets may be of the greatest possible help for use in trade-school classes and for self-instruction, each title is accompanied by a list of Review Questions covering essential items of the subject matter. A short Glossary of technical terms belonging to the subject or department treated is also added to many of the books.

These are the Official Text-books of the United Typothetae of America.

Address all orders and inquiries to Committee on Education, United Typothetae of America, Chicago, Illinois, U. S. A.


[Pg ii]

PART I—Types, Tools, Machines, and Materials

1. Type: a Primer of InformationBy A. A. Stewart

Relating to the mechanical features of printing types; their sizes, font schemes, etc., with a brief description of their manufacture. 44 pp.; illustrated; 74 review questions; glossary.

2. Compositors’ Tools and MaterialsBy A. A. Stewart

A primer of information about composing sticks, galleys, leads, brass rules, cutting and mitering machines, etc. 47 pp.; illustrated; 50 review questions; glossary.

3. Type Cases, Composing Room FurnitureBy A. A. Stewart

A primer of information about type cases, work stands, cabinets, case racks, galley racks, standing galleys, etc. 43 pp.; illustrated; 33 review questions; glossary.

4. Imposing Tables and Lock-up AppliancesBy A. A. Stewart

Describing the tools and materials used in locking up forms for the press, including some modern utilities for special purposes. 59 pp.; illustrated; 70 review questions; glossary.

5. Proof PressesBy A. A. Stewart

A primer of information about the customary methods and machines for taking printers’ proofs. 40 pp.; illustrated; 41 review questions; glossary.

6. Platen Printing PressesBy Daniel Baker

A primer of information regarding the history and mechanical construction of platen printing presses, from the original hand press to the modern job press, to which is added a chapter on automatic presses of small size. 51 pp.; illustrated; 49 review questions; glossary.

7. Cylinder Printing PressesBy Herbert L. Baker

Being a study of the mechanism and operation of the principal types of cylinder printing machines. 64 pp.; illustrated; 47 review questions; glossary.

8. Mechanical Feeders and FoldersBy William E. Spurrier

The history and operation of modern feeding and folding machines; with hints on their care and adjustments. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

9. Power for Machinery in Printing HousesBy Carl F. Scott

A treatise on the methods of applying power to printing presses and allied machinery with particular reference to electric drive. 53 pp.; illustrated; 69 review questions; glossary.

10. Paper Cutting MachinesBy Niel Gray, Jr.

A primer of information about paper and card trimmers, hand-lever cutters, power cutters, and other automatic machines for cutting paper. 70 pp.; illustrated; 115 review questions; glossary.

11. Printers’ RollersBy A. A. Stewart

A primer of information about the composition, manufacture, and care of inking rollers. 46 pp.; illustrated; 61 review questions; glossary.

12. Printing InksBy Philip Ruxton

Their composition, properties and manufacture (reprinted by permission from Circular No. 53, United States Bureau of Standards); together with some helpful suggestions about the everyday use of printing inks by Philip Ruxton. 80 pp.; 100 review questions; glossary.

[Pg iii]

13. How Paper is MadeBy William Bond Wheelwright

A primer of information about the materials and processes of manufacturing paper for printing and writing. 68 pp.; illustrated; 62 review questions; glossary.

14. Relief EngravingsBy Joseph P. Donovan

Brief history and non-technical description of modern methods of engraving; woodcut, zinc plate, halftone; kind of copy for reproduction; things to remember when ordering engravings. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

15. Electrotyping and StereotypingBy Harris B. Hatch and A. A. Stewart

A primer of information about the processes of electrotyping and stereotyping. 94 pp.; illustrated; 129 review questions; glossaries.


PART II—Hand and Machine Composition

16. TypesettingBy A. A. Stewart

A handbook for beginners, giving information about justifying, spacing, correcting, and other matters relating to typesetting. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

17. Printers’ ProofsBy A. A. Stewart

The methods by which they are made, marked, and corrected, with observations on proofreading. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

18. First Steps in Job CompositionBy Camille DeVéze

Suggestions for the apprentice compositor in setting his first jobs, especially about the important little things which go to make good display in typography. 63 pp.; examples; 55 review questions; glossary.

19. General Job Composition

How the job compositor handles business stationery, programs and miscellaneous work. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

20. Book CompositionBy J. W. Bothwell

Chapters from DeVinne’s “Modern Methods of Book Composition,” revised and arranged for this series of text-books by J. W. Bothwell of The DeVinne Press, New York. Part I: Composition of pages. Part II: Imposition of pages. 229 pp.; illustrated; 525 review questions; glossary.

21. Tabular CompositionBy Robert Seaver

A study of the elementary forms of table composition, with examples of more difficult composition. 36 pp.; examples; 45 review questions.

22. Applied ArithmeticBy E. E. Sheldon

Elementary arithmetic applied to problems of the printing trade, calculation of materials, paper weights and sizes, with standard tables and rules for computation, each subject amplified with examples and exercises. 159 pp.

23. Typecasting and Composing MachinesA. W. Finlay, Editor
Section I—The LinotypeBy L. A. Hornstein
Section II—The MonotypeBy Joseph Hays
Section III—The IntertypeBy Henry W. Cozzens
Section IV—Other Typecasting and Typesetting MachinesBy Frank H. Smith

A brief history of typesetting machines, with descriptions of their mechanical principles and operations. Illustrated; reviewquestions; glossary.


[Pg iv]

PART III—Imposition and Stonework

24. Locking Forms for the Job PressBy Frank S. Henry

Things the apprentice should know about locking up small forms, and about general work on the stone. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

25. Preparing Forms for the Cylinder PressBy Frank S. Henry

Pamphlet and catalog imposition; margins; fold marks, etc. Methods of handling type forms and electrotype forms. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.


PART IV—Presswork

26. Making Ready on Platen PressesBy T. G. McGrew

The essential parts of a press and their functions; distinctive features of commonly used machines. Preparing the tympan, regulating the impression, underlaying and overlaying, setting gauges, and other details explained. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

27. Cylinder PressworkBy T. G. McGrew

Preparing the press; adjustment of bed and cylinder, form rollers, ink fountain, grippers and delivery systems. Underlaying and overlaying; modern overlay methods. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

28. Pressroom Hints and HelpsBy Charles L. Dunton

Describing some practical methods of pressroom work, with directions and useful information relating to a variety of printing-press problems. 87 pp.; 176 review questions.

29. Reproductive Processes of the Graphic ArtsBy A. W. Elson

A primer of information about the distinctive features of the relief, the intaglio, and the planographic processes of printing. 84 pp.; illustrated; 100 review questions; glossary.


PART V—Pamphlet and Book Binding

30. Pamphlet BindingBy Bancroft L. Goodwin

A primer of information about the various operations employed in binding pamphlets and other work in the bindery. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.

31. Book BindingBy John J. Pleger

Practical information about the usual operations in binding books; folding; gathering, collating, sewing, forwarding, finishing. Case making and cased-in books. Hand work and machine work. Job and blank-book binding. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.


PART VI—Correct Literary Composition

32. Word Study and English GrammarBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about words, their relations, and their uses. 68 pp.; 84 review questions; glossary.

33. PunctuationBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about the marks of punctuation and their use, both grammatically and typographically. 56 pp.; 59 review questions; glossary.

[Pg v]

34. CapitalsBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about capitalization, with some practical typographic hints as to the use of capitals. 48 pp.; 92 review questions; glossary.

35. Division of WordsBy F. W. Hamilton

Rules for the division of words at the ends of lines, with remarks on spelling, syllabication and pronunciation. 42 pp.; 70 review questions.

36. Compound WordsBy F. W. Hamilton

A study of the principles of compounding, the components of compounds, and the use of the hyphen. 34 pp.; 62 review questions.

37. Abbreviations and SignsBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about abbreviations and signs, with classified lists of those in most common use. 58 pp.; 32 review questions.

38. The Uses of ItalicBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about the history and uses of italic letters. 31 pp.; 37 review questions.

39. ProofreadingBy Arnold Levitas

The technical phases of the proofreader’s work; reading, marking, revising, etc.; methods of handling proofs and copy. Illustrated by examples. 59 pp.; 69 review questions; glossary.

40. Preparation of Printers’ CopyBy F. W. Hamilton

Suggestions for authors, editors, and all who are engaged in preparing copy for the composing room. 36 pp.; 67 review questions.

41. Printers’ Manual of Style

A reference compilation of approved rules, usages, and suggestions relating to uniformity in punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, numerals, and kindred features of composition.

42. The Printer’s DictionaryBy A. A. Stewart

A handbook of definitions and miscellaneous information about various processes of printing, alphabetically arranged. Technical terms explained. Illustrated.


PART VII—Design, Color, and Lettering

43. Applied Design for PrintersBy Harry L. Gage

A handbook of the principles of arrangement, with brief comment on the periods of design which have most influenced printing. Treats of harmony, balance, proportion, and rhythm; motion; symmetry and variety; ornament, esthetic and symbolic. 37 illustrations; 46 review questions; glossary; bibliography.

44. Elements of Typographic DesignBy Harry L. Gage

Applications of the principles of decorative design. Building material of typography: paper, types, ink, decorations and illustrations. Handling of shapes. Design of complete book, treating each part. Design of commercial forms and single units. Illustrations; review questions, glossary; bibliography.

[Pg vi]

45. Rudiments of Color in PrintingBy Harry L. Gage

Use of color: for decoration of black and white, for broad poster effect, in combinations of two, three, or more printings with process engravings. Scientific nature of color, physical and chemical. Terms in which color may be discussed: hue, value, intensity. Diagrams in color, scales and combinations. Color theory of process engraving. Experiments with color. Illustrations in full color, and on various papers. Review questions; glossary; bibliography.

46. Lettering in TypographyBy Harry L. Gage

Printer’s use of lettering: adaptability and decorative effect. Development of historic writing and lettering and its influence on type design. Classification of general forms in lettering. Application of design to lettering. Drawing for reproduction. Fully illustrated; review questions; glossary; bibliography.

47. Typographic Design in AdvertisingBy Harry L. Gage

The printer’s function in advertising. Precepts upon which advertising is based. Printer’s analysis of his copy. Emphasis, legibility, attention, color. Method of studying advertising typography. Illustrations; review questions; glossary; bibliography.

48. Making Dummies and LayoutsBy Harry L. Gage

A layout: the architectural plan. A dummy: the imitation of a proposed final effect. Use of dummy in sales work. Use of layout. Function of layout man. Binding schemes for dummies. Dummy envelopes. Illustrations; review questions; glossary; bibliography.


PART VIII—History of Printing

49. Books Before TypographyBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about the invention of the alphabet and the history of bookmaking up to the invention of movable types. 62 pp.; illustrated; 64 review questions.

50. The Invention of TypographyBy F. W. Hamilton

A brief sketch of the invention of printing and how it came about. 64 pp.; 62 review questions.

51. History of Printing—Part IBy F. W. Hamilton

A primer of information about the beginnings of printing, the development of the book, the development of printers’ materials, and the work of the great pioneers. 63 pp.; 55 review questions.

52. History of Printing—Part IIBy F. W. Hamilton

A brief sketch of the economic conditions of the printing industry from 1450 to 1789, including government regulations, censorship, internal conditions and industrial relations. 94 pp.; 128 review questions.

53. Printing in EnglandBy F. W. Hamilton

A short history of printing in England from Caxton to the present time. 89 pp.; 65 review questions.

54. Printing in AmericaBy F. W. Hamilton

A brief sketch of the development of the newspaper, and some notes on publishers who have especially contributed to printing. 98 pp.; 84 review questions.

55. Type and Presses in AmericaBy F. W. Hamilton

A brief historical sketch of the development of type casting and press building in the United States. 52 pp.; 61 review questions.

[Pg vii]


PART IX—Cost Finding and Accounting

56. Elements of Cost in PrintingBy Henry P. Porter

The Standard Cost-Finding Forms and their uses. What they should show. How to utilize the information they give. Review questions. Glossary.

57. Use of a Cost SystemBy Henry P. Porter

The Standard Cost-Finding Forms and their uses. What they should show. How to utilize the information they give. Review questions. Glossary.

58. The Printer as a MerchantBy Henry P. Porter

The selection and purchase of materials and supplies for printing. The relation of the cost of raw material and the selling price of the finished product. Review questions. Glossary.

59. Fundamental Principles of EstimatingBy Henry P. Porter

The estimator and his work; forms to use; general rules for estimating. Review questions. Glossary.

60. Estimating and SellingBy Henry P. Porter

An insight into the methods used in making estimates, and their relation to selling. Review questions. Glossary.

61. Accounting for PrintersBy Henry P. Porter

A brief outline of an accounting system for printers; necessary books and accessory records. Review questions. Glossary.


PART X—Miscellaneous

62. Health, Sanitation, and SafetyBy Henry P. Porter

Hygiene in the printing trade; a study of conditions old and new; practical suggestions for improvement; protective appliances and rules for safety.

63. Topical IndexBy F. W. Hamilton

A book of reference covering the topics treated in the Typographic Technical Series, alphabetically arranged.

64. Courses of StudyBy F. W. Hamilton

A guidebook for teachers, with outlines and suggestions for classroom and shop work.



[Pg viii]


This series of Typographic Text-books is the result of the splendid co-operation of a large number of firms and individuals engaged in the printing business and its allied industries in the United States of America.

The Committee on Education of the United Typothetae of America, under whose auspices the books have been prepared and published, acknowledges its indebtedness for the generous assistance rendered by the many authors, printers, and others identified with this work.

While due acknowledgment is made on the title and copyright pages of those contributing to each book, the Committee nevertheless felt that a group list of co-operating firms would be of interest.

The following list is not complete, as it includes only those who have co-operated in the production of a portion of the volumes, constituting the first printing. As soon as the entire list of books comprising the Typographic Technical Series has been completed (which the Committee hopes will be at an early date), the full list will be printed in each volume.

The Committee also desires to acknowledge its indebtedness to the many subscribers to this Series who have patiently awaited its publication.

Committee on Education,
United Typothetae of America.
Henry P. Porter, Chairman,
E. Lawrence Fell,
A. M. Glossbrenner,
J. Clyde Oswald,
Toby Rubovits.

Frederick W. Hamilton, Education Director.

[Pg ix]


For Composition and Electrotypes

Isaac H. Blanchard Company, New York, N. Y.
S. H. Burbank & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
J. S. Cushing & Co., Norwood, Mass.
The DeVinne Press, New York, N. Y.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., Chicago, Ill.
Geo. H. Ellis Co., Boston, Mass.
Evans-Winter-Hebb, Detroit, Mich.
Franklin Printing Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
Gage Printing Co., Ltd., Battle Creek, Mich.
F. H. Gilson Company, Boston, Mass.
Stephen Greene & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
William Green, New York, N. Y.
W. F. Hall Printing Co., Chicago, Ill.
Frank D. Jacobs Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
Wilson H. Lee Co., New Haven, Conn.
J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
MacCalla & Co. Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Patteson Press, New York.
The Plimpton Press, Norwood, Mass.
Poole Bros., Chicago, Ill.
Remington Printing Co., Providence, R. I.
Edward Stern & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Stone Printing & Mfg. Co., Roanoke, Va.
State Journal Company, Lincoln, Neb.
The University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

For Composition

Boston Typothetae School of Printing, Boston, Mass.
William F. Fell Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Kalkhoff Company, New York, N. Y.
Oxford-Print, Boston, Mass.
Toby Rubovits, Chicago, Ill.


Blomgren Brothers Co., Chicago, Ill.
Flower Steel Electrotyping Co., New York, N. Y.
C. J. Peters & Son Co., Boston, Mass.
Royal Electrotype Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
H. C. Whitcomb & Co., Boston, Mass.

[Pg x]For Engravings

American Type Founders Co., Boston, Mass.
C. B. Cottrell & Sons Co., Westerly, R. I.
Golding Manufacturing Co., Franklin, Mass.
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Inland Printer Co., Chicago, Ill.
Lanston Monotype Machine Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mergenthaler Linotype Company, New York, N. Y.
Geo. H. Morrill Co., Norwood, Mass.
Oswald Publishing Co., New York, N. Y.
The Printing Art, Cambridge, Mass.
B. D. Rising Paper Company, Housatonic, Mass.
The Vandercook Press, Chicago, Ill.

For Book Paper

American Writing Paper Co., Holyoke, Mass.
Bryant Paper Co., Kalamazoo, Mich.
The Miami Paper Co., West Carrollton, Ohio.
Oxford Paper Company, New York, N. Y.
West Virginia Pulp & Paper Co., Mechanicville, N. Y.

For Book Cloth

Interlaken Mills, Providence, R. I.



Transcriber’s Notes:

According to the text on page 13, one example for rule 25 and one example for rule 26 appear to be incorrect. These have been left as presented in the original text.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Compound Words, by Frederick W. Hamilton


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