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I am not sure if this question belongs to English language StackExchange.

In the context of multiconfigurational methods, what is the correct way to write multi-state character:

  1. multi-state character
  2. multistate character
  3. multi state character

Personally I would go with option 1.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think it changes the meaning, i.e. doesn't really matter. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2017 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ @mcocdawc - I prefer option (1), and cite Donald Knuth's reasoning as given here. However, Knuth suggests that the hyphenated versions of "newly coined" words morph to unhyphenated versions (e-mail becomes email, for example) as they gain acceptance and are more frequently used, which indicates to me that option (2) is not off the table, certainly because the word is not newly coined. I would argue that wide acceptance and usage of the wording in the context given here is not demonstrated, however, and fall back to option (1). $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2017 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's rather about language then chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jul 17, 2017 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ While I think this is as much a chemistry question as it is a language question, and I think it is better answered here, I am a little bit reluctant to overrule community decision. || On the matter at hand: 1 and 2 are correct and common spellings. Which one you choose is up to you basically, but be consistent. So if you write multiconfigurational (as you did), you should write multistate, multireference, etc.. If you prefer the hyphenated versions (I'd choose them), you should use them for all. $\endgroup$ Jul 18, 2017 at 2:36
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt Q is reopened. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Jul 18, 2017 at 4:09

1 Answer 1

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I prefer option (1), and cite Donald Knuth's reasoning as given here.

Knuth asserts that hyphenated versions of "newly coined" words morph to unhyphenated versions (e-mail becomes email, for example) as they gain acceptance and are more frequently used, which indicates to me that option (2) is not off the table, certainly because the word is not newly coined.

However, I argue that wide acceptance and usage of the wording in the context given here is not demonstrated and fall back to option (1). Finally, as pointed out by Martin in the comment thread, be consistent and use (or don't use) hyphenation regardless of which variation you choose.

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