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Really shocked to discover that headteacher is a word

(25 Posts)
Mintyy Wed 12-Mar-14 21:08:18


motherinferior Wed 12-Mar-14 21:36:09

Hmmm...but then so is Headmaster or Headmistress.

Mintyy Wed 12-Mar-14 21:47:28

Yes, but its wrong! Wronger than a wrong thing.

Do we have Stationmaster or Headgirl?

I'm going to have to google.

motherinferior Wed 12-Mar-14 21:52:38

It's granddad that gets me. It's wrong yet what is the alternative?

I get paid to worry about this sort of stuff. This is not necessarily a good thing.

Mintyy Wed 12-Mar-14 21:59:01

We got round the granddad dilemma by having grandpas.

I don't get paid to worry about this stuff, but yet it troubles me.

Dh (as you know, similar line to you but different field) was also deeply disturbed by headteacher.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Wed 12-Mar-14 22:00:05

Can't we use grandad?

AgentProvocateur Wed 12-Mar-14 22:03:49

Barroom is a word! (As in barroom brawl).

CocktailQueen Wed 12-Mar-14 22:06:33


And it should be bar-room brawl (barroom) in USA

Yes, headteacher is a word. I edit educational material, and it still looks wrong!

Cuxibamba Wed 12-Mar-14 22:07:52

I always thought headteacher was a word confused Why wouldn't it be?

Ruprekt Wed 12-Mar-14 22:09:23


What sort of job do you do that pays you to worry about such stuff?

(I think I would love that job!) thanksthanksthanks

motherinferior Thu 13-Mar-14 08:14:00

I edit for pay from time to time. One becomes obsessed with whether, for instance, a report should say two- and three-year-olds or two and three-year-olds...

CocktailQueen Thu 13-Mar-14 09:35:41

Mother inferior: it should be two- and three-year-olds, because the '-year-olds' part refers to both ages of kids.

motherinferior Thu 13-Mar-14 09:52:49

Yes, I know. That wasn't actually the major one I was concerned about but I can't remember what my main worry was.

I am still unsure about removing the D in grand, given that other sorts of grandparent retain it. There's no particular reason for removing it. I'm not sure euphony is sufficient.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 13-Mar-14 12:20:41

But granddad is no more troublesome than granddaughter, right?

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 12:24:36

Yes, but its wrong!
no such thing as 'wrong' in English that is the joy of it!

PostHocErgoPropterHoc Thu 13-Mar-14 12:26:05

Yes, I think it's come from the evolution from headmaster and headmistress. Those words were in use first, so when people started using headteacher, it would have seemed strange to split the word then.

motherinferior Thu 13-Mar-14 12:26:15

Plenty of things are wrong in English. Like it's as a possessive.

motherinferior Thu 13-Mar-14 12:26:57

Granddad is profoundly distressing, IMO. I worry, quite often, about it.

This probably says more about me than anything else, mind.

PostHocErgoPropterHoc Thu 13-Mar-14 12:29:18

Granddad does look wrong. Gran'dad? grin

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 12:33:26

yes i know motherinferior but as there is no academy to say what is wrong and what is right, (unlike say, France) the language can develop and change, which is one of its strengths as an international language. Therefore you have words like 'headteacher'.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 13-Mar-14 12:57:16

Evidently "hardworking" is a word now. Compound words are taking over the language.

InternetFOREVER Thu 13-Mar-14 13:13:28

Ooh, can any pedants resolve "wellbeing" for me? My spell check has a meltdown, and goes through a loop of changing it from wellbeing to well-being and back again. If I have to use it a lot I end up just alternating wink

Mintyy Thu 13-Mar-14 13:45:53

Wellbeing is completed bonafide, I would have thought. Or should that be bona fide? grin.

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 13:48:40

I would put 'wellbeing' personally but for example 'socio-economic' as the vowel cluster in the middle might make it look odd if not divided. oh oh the spellchecker (spell-checker?) does not like wellbeing!
Anyway the important thing is consistency IMO, so if you choose one way, stick to it throughout that piece of writing.

JeanSeberg Thu 20-Mar-14 22:17:05

Aren't there alot of headteachers these days Mintyy. grin

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