Compound nouns (business people vs. businesspeople)

I often come across compound nouns that are spelled as one word rather than two separate words. One example is businesspeople which according to most dictionaries should be spelled “business people”. Would you agree that there is no “hard rule” here?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Lawn tennis[YSaerTTEW443543]

Yes, no hard rule. Such nouns grow together with use (often with an intermediate hyphenated stage). Finding the form that is acceptable in the right quarters can be difficult sometimes.



Could I distract from the topic a bit please?

I have learnt that:

Yes, a positive sentence
No, a negative sentence.

For example:

A- No, I do not smoke.
B- Yes, you do.

A- You do like her?
B- No, I don’t.
B- Yes, I do

Keeping this ‘understanding’ in mind, I would write:

No, no hard rule.

Could you please explain?


Tom, Torsten’s question was:

“Would you agree that there is no “hard rule” here?”

And Mister Micawber answered:

“Yes, no hard rule.”

That means that he agrees that there is no hard rule

Hi Tom

Pamela has hit the nail on the head. :smiley:

Q: “Would you agree that there is no “hard rule” here?”
A: “Yes, ([size=84]I agree that there is[/size]) no hard rule.”


– Do you mind if I play a CD?
– No, go ahead!

– Do you mind if I go now?
– Yes, (please) don’t go!


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

And now a well-known song from the 20s has come to mind:

[size=134][color=blue]Yes, We Have No Bananas[/size]

[i]There’s a fruit store on our street
It’s run by a Greek.
And he keeps good things to eat
But you should hear him speak!

When you ask him anything, he never answers “no”.
He just "yes"es you to death,
And as he takes your dough, he tells you…

"Yes! We have no bananas
We have no bananas today!!
We have string beans and onions, cabBAges and scallions
And all kinds of fruit and say
We have an old fashioned toMAHto
A Long Island poTAHto, but

Yes! We have no bananas
We have no bananas today!"

Business got so good for him that he wrote home today,
“Send me Pete and Nick and Jim; I need help right away.”
When he got them in the store, there was fun, you bet.
Someone asked for “sparrow grass”
and then the whole quartet
All answered:

"Yes, we have no bananas
We have-a no bananas today.
Just try those coconuts
Those wall-nuts and doughnuts
There ain’t many nuts like they.
We’ll sell you two kinds of red herring,
Dark brown, and ball-bearing.
But yes, we have no bananas
We have no bananas today." [/i]

[size=84]Frank Silver and Irving Cohn (1923)[/size],_We_Have_No_Bananas

If you want listen to this 1920s classic, you can find it here:

:lol: :smiley: :lol:

(Aren’t you glad you asked, Tom? ;))


Hi Torsten

What a coincidence! Have a look at this test question:

Meaning of “pay cut”