Talk:to-day

Obsolete?Edit

Is a spelling really obsolete when it was being taught as the correct spelling only fifty years ago? The hyphen is used in hundreds of recent book titles; in 2012 by Nicolaos Lambrakis in Advances in the Research of Aquatic Environment - Page 3; and by Leonard W. Van Os in 1999 (Afrikaans self taught: by the natural method with phonetic ... - Page 191). I'm sure I can find other recent cites. Dbfirs 22:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Since those authors are apparently Greek and South African respectively, they may not be the best authorities on current English, and might have learned it from dated books. I suppose I'd say "to-day" is archaic rather than obsolete. I've rarely seen it in anything published since, say, 1950. Equinox 22:55, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I'm struggling to find recent cites, though the hyphenated form was the "standard" spelling when I learnt English. I've found a 2004 usage by Thomas H. Dickinson in Chief Contemporary Dramatists - Page 128, though he's possibly quoting: "Sixpence to-day is worth more than a shillin' to-morrow, that 's what they say." It was used in 1954 in Punch, Volume 226: "if you go down to the woods to-day". The OED says: "Also as two words and with hyphen", and has cites for both spellings, but none recent for either. Dbfirs 23:05, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
One from 1971: Edgar De Witt Jones in "American preachers of to-day: intimate appraisals of thirty-two leaders" cite: "And if those famed prophets of another age were with us to-day, perhaps the distance between them and their contemporaries would not be so great as it was ...". Dbfirs 23:38, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

To- as hyphenated prefixEdit

From http://www.freedictionary.org/?Query=To (about 4/5 of the way down the page)

"Note: To in to-day, to-night, and to-morrow has the sense or force of for or on; for, or on, (this) day, for, or on, (this) night, for, or on, (the) morrow. To-day, to-night, to-morrow may be considered as compounds, and usually as adverbs; but they are sometimes used as nouns; as, to-day is ours.
[1913 Webster]

              To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow;
              Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
                                    --Shak.

[1913 Webster]"

The issue is not simply that to-day, etc., are archaic forms, but rather, what these compound forms signified and why they were used in the first place. Milkunderwood (talk) 21:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Return to "to-day" page.