These sentences occur in the Mozilla UI strings:

EN The sentence has a grammatical or spelling error.

DE Der Satz beinhaltet einen grammatikalischen oder Rechtschreibfehler.

The juxtaposition of the adjective grammatikalischen and the noun subcompound Rechtschreib- is a bit jarring to me, and the English arguably has the same structure.

(In German, constructions like Grammatik- oder Rechtschreibfehler are common, which along with rules about capitalization and compounding forces writers to be a bit more conscious of the parts of speech.)

Clearly this occurred organically at least in the case of the English string, so it's valid from a descriptivist viewpoint.

But are these sentences correct, according to the more prescriptivist notions of the standard languages? Or correct but not recommended by styleguides?

I'll be thankful for examples, rules and prescriptions in any language.

  • 1
    You should ask on a prescriptivist grammar site. They're the only ones that know all their rules.
    – jlawler
    May 29, 2020 at 20:20
  • @jlawler German SE would work. But I am also curious in descriptivist perspectives, lay perception and how common it is across languages. My language sense is too clouded at this point. May 29, 2020 at 21:40
  • 1
    My perception is that the En version is absolutely fine. If you Google "marital or family problems" you will get plenty of hits. I'd be leery of any style guide that deprecated this kind of construction.
    – rchivers
    May 30, 2020 at 15:17


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