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How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

Seat belts and seahorses and cell phones have divided the BuzzFeed copydesk. We need you to help us decide how they should be written.

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A recent update to the Associated Press Stylebook, the so-called "journalist's bible," unearthed a previously unknown fissure in the BuzzFeed copy desk: the word "seat belt." According to AP, it's "seat belt, two words."

But a few of our editors felt otherwise: There were "very strong feelings" against the two-word variation, as well as talk of moving to BuzzFeed's London office, where British English reigns supreme and all bets on standard American English are off. So we're kicking it out to you, our readers, to resolve our issues, once and for all.

One stipulation for all of you nitpicking grammarians: Let's consider each of these options nouns — no verbs or adjectives. So, that said, how should we style these headache-inducing words?

  1. Seat belt or seatbelt?

    Seat belt — I stand firmly with AP and Merriam-Webster.
    Seatbelt — Who knew it's supposed to be two words in the first place? That looks weird.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Seat belt or seatbelt?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Seat belt — I stand firmly with AP and Merriam-Webster.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Seatbelt — Who knew it's supposed to be two words in the first place? That looks weird.
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  1. Health care or healthcare?

    Health care — I am a law-abiding citizen who regularly reads Healthcare.gov.
    Healthcare — One concept, one word.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Health care or healthcare?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Health care — I am a law-abiding citizen who regularly reads Healthcare.gov.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Healthcare — One concept, one word.
  1. Spin-off or spinoff?

    Spin-off — Compound nouns need a hyphen.
    Spinoff — That hyphen is burning my retinas.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Spin-off or spinoff?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Spin-off — Compound nouns need a hyphen.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Spinoff — That hyphen is burning my retinas.
  1. Cell phone or cellphone?

    Cell phone — I'm a traditionalist.
    Cellphone — They're basically all smartphones now anyway.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Cell phone or cellphone?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Cell phone — I'm a traditionalist.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Cellphone — They're basically all smartphones now anyway.
  1. Sea horse or seahorse?

    Sea horse — They're stately animals who need that extra space for their majesty.
    Seahorse — Catfish is one word; seahorse should follow suit.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Sea horse or seahorse?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Sea horse — They're stately animals who need that extra space for their majesty.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Seahorse — Catfish is one word; seahorse should follow suit.
  1. Buttcheeks or butt cheeks?

    Buttcheeks — Buttcheeks are a singular entity.
    Butt cheeks — Divided IRL, divided in writing.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Buttcheeks or butt cheeks?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Buttcheeks — Buttcheeks are a singular entity.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Butt cheeks — Divided IRL, divided in writing.
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  1. Voiceover, voice-over, or voice over?

    Voiceover — Sounds natural, looks natural.
    Voice-over — Adjacent vowels, no thanks.
    Voice over — Does not warrant single-word status.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Voiceover, voice-over, or voice over?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Voiceover — Sounds natural, looks natural.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Voice-over — Adjacent vowels, no thanks.
  3.  
    vote votes
    Voice over — Does not warrant single-word status.
  1. Roller coaster or rollercoaster?

    Roller coaster — Is nothing sacred?!
    Rollercoaster — You'd definitely die going over that space in an actual rollercoaster.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Roller coaster or rollercoaster?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Roller coaster — Is nothing sacred?!
  2.  
    vote votes
    Rollercoaster — You'd definitely die going over that space in an actual rollercoaster.
  1. Rideshare or ride-share?

    We might ban this word altogether, but let's vote anyway.

    Rideshare — That hyphen is a nightmare.
    Ride-share — Again, the hyphen is a necessary evil.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Rideshare or ride-share?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Rideshare — That hyphen is a nightmare.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Ride-share — Again, the hyphen is a necessary evil.
  1. Email or e-mail?

    Email — Language and words evolve; toss the hyphen.
    E-mail — Brings me back to the golden days of the '90s and early aughts.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Email or e-mail?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Email — Language and words evolve; toss the hyphen.
  2.  
    vote votes
    E-mail — Brings me back to the golden days of the '90s and early aughts.
  1. Video games or videogames?

    Video games — Lana del Rey sings it as two words, so, me too.
    Videogames — I'm a gaming purist.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Video games or videogames?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Video games — Lana del Rey sings it as two words, so, me too.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Videogames — I'm a gaming purist.
  1. Dealbreaker or deal breaker?

    Dealbreaker — It's a dealbreaker to ~not~ style this word thusly.
    Deal breaker — Two words, no question.

How Should You Write These Contentious Nightmare Words?

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Dealbreaker or deal breaker?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Dealbreaker — It's a dealbreaker to ~not~ style this word thusly.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Deal breaker — Two words, no question.

After you've voted, be sure to check out the BuzzFeed Style Guide, and tell us what you think! Follow our copy editors on Twitter @StyleGuide for fun language tips or email us: styleguide@buzzfeed.com.

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