Poor grammar, portmanteau or just evolution?
There is a definite split in the on-line community. This is a nightmare for the purposes of SEO content and copywriting / copy writing; by using different conventions you are faced with how to ensure both versions get picked up by the search engines. If you use both versions in one text it becomes confusing for the reader as the piece lacks consistency and quality, if you only use one version you are potentially missing out on all the potential clients who are searching for the other version. How has this happened?
I think there are three possible reasons for this;
- Poor grammar. It is a possibility that, like so many other writing conventions, people have forgotten how words fit together to make meaning. 'Copy' as a word class is a noun in this instance as it is being used to describe the name of a type of internet text. The word 'writer' is also a noun, therefore, 'copy writer' is grammatically known as a noun-noun collocation. Two words that sit side by side for meaning.
- Portmanteau; A possible explanation is that the two nouns of 'copy' and 'writing' have been blended into one word to create a single word, similar to the creation of words such as 'bootylicious', 'mockney' 'mankini' and 'neither'. However, it doesn't sound like two words becoming one new one so I feel this is the less likely option.
- Evolution; English has changed throughout the history of mankind. New influences from different cultures and especially the media and entertainment business means that people are exposed to all types of grammars, pronunciations and colloquialisms. Perhaps the need for speed while communicating so we can all move on to the next new thing has meant no-one is really bothered if two words become one, whether a hyphen gets left out, or a superfluous one gets put in. Rules change, people break rules and new language is created and it just happens.