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General Writing and Grammar Help/Goodnight, good night, or good-night


hevghirl wrote at 2009-03-29 21:52:02
If you look up the Oxford English Dictionary the correct term is goodnight.  It's certainly how I would use the word and it is taught this way in schools here.  We would only use good night when we wish someone to have a good night rather than as a parting exclammation.

dontdothisoften wrote at 2010-12-31 04:44:15
I do agree with hevghirl that it seems commonly used as goodnight, however, every source I look up has it as good night.  And the oxford english dictionary does not have it as goodnight.  Even if you search for it as goodnight it comes up as good night. So going against the grain, in the end, is actually correct

Heathaze wrote at 2014-10-31 13:02:57
Actually, there is not a correct answer. Either form, goodnight, or good night, works perfectly well when read from the page.  Goodnight has been used MANY times in literature, and is also listed as a spelling in the Oxford Dictionary, considered by many to be the authoritative English language dictionary.

Saying that "most dictionaries" list only the two word version is a non-starter, unless you in fact have checked for yourself "most" of the thousands of dictionaries in existence.

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Jerry Leone


I`ve taught writing or some aspect of the English language for nearly 35 years. I can answer nearly any question on grammar, usage or meanings of words above dictionary usage. An avid crossword fan and writer, I can also answer questions about business presentations and resumes.


I have worked with words all my life as a teacher of the language and as an amateur and professional writer. Communication is a vital force in my life and everyone else's.

Sigma Delta Chi, NY Press Association, NY Publishers Association

BA in English from the University of Buffalo, MEd in English from SUNY Buffalo, MA in English Literature from SUNY Buffalo. Course work in Journalism from Syracuse Univ., in Linguistics from Rutgers Univ. and Journalism from Univ. of Texas and Ohio Univesrity.

Awards and Honors
Chancellor's Award for Excellence Teaching SUNY, Distinguished Teaching Award SUNY Morrisville, Who's Who in American Journalism Education

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