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