Spelling of "spokenword"

Why is “spokenword” spelled in this way? The English Wikipedia spells it “spoken word”. Even the German Wikipedia spells it “spoken word”.

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Or: Means “spokenword” not “a performance art that is word based” (according to Wikipedia)?

I am not an expert at all but I was told here by an English person that composed words (weekend, breakfast, noteworthy, etc.) could be either space separated, hyphen linked or even simply glued together like this.

(Brit here who can kinda speak proper English)

@PatriciaTegtmeier - you are totally correct that “spokenword” is not in the Oxford English Dictionary. But I think you’ll find that its use here as a single word is very acceptable. It may not be official, but it is clearly understood.

An interesting one is “Audiobook”. This is two words, but in the dictionary now as a single word. It has become an acceptable label for that type of recording.

@jesus2099 the odd thing with your examples of weekend and breakfast are two words that never get broken up. With noteworthy I have seen that with a hyphen. Also seen audio-book get a hyphen.

English is a mongrel of a language. We taken influences from all round Europe over the centuries. I look at words like “spokenword” as just a lean to the Germanic roots where a new word is made from a string of other words.

Interestingly with the addition of the type “Audio Play” I keep looking at those words and want to take the space out to make it consistent with the rest of the list of types. It would not be a correct English word then, but it could be understood.

Personally I also think it has been done to work better with computer files. Every other type (except the new “Audio Play”) is a single word. Avoiding the space for the sake of simplicity of sorting a list on a computer. Many simple programs assume the space is a separator in a list of types like that.


Hyphenating a word like “weekend” would look very old-fashioned, at least to my American eyes. (However, hyphenating “old-fashioned” does not.) I believe this is a common progression in English, where recently compounded words will be written with a hyphen that eventually gets dropped from common usage.

As for the original subject, in my experience “spoken word” is by far the most common usage and “spokenword” looks a little strange to me. (Apparently it looks strange to the spellchecker as well.)