Long composite words

25 June 2009

In Dutch (and German) composite words are written together as one word. A recent example is “Catshuisbranddebat”, Cats-huis-brand-debat. That's a debate about a fire in Cats's house.

More elaborate: a debate in the Second Chamber of the Dutch parliament (about information supply about judicial aspects and conduct around) the fire in the house (now the ceremonial official residence of the Dutch prime minister) which used to belong to Jacob Cats.

In English, composite words are usually written as separate words. (In Dutch this happens a lot too, in the writings of people who weren't properly taught how the write.) As a result, English composites are sometimes even longer and more unclear than in Dutch, because their length is less conspicuous.


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