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What is the correct spelling of wire frame?

Is it wireframe, wire-frame or wire frame?

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closed as off topic by Benny Skogberg, Matt Rockwell, Alex Feinman, Ben Brocka Jan 3 '13 at 20:11

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I thought about that, but this group probably has much more experience with this word and it's usage. I didn't want it to fall on deaf or unknowing ears. – whoacowboy Jan 3 '13 at 18:27
Let me Google that for you – Matt Rockwell Jan 3 '13 at 18:29
Is that correct or is it just on Google. I tried that and I have been able to find it presented in many ways. – whoacowboy Jan 3 '13 at 18:33
web site or website? Email or e-mail? Log in or Login? All are used, so it's not really an issue of 'correct' but 'use what you want to use internally and be consistent about it'. – DA01 Jan 3 '13 at 18:57
In web it is referred to as a wireframe. In 3d design it is referred to as a wire frame. – Matt Rockwell Jan 3 '13 at 19:00
up vote 2 down vote accepted

When you are looking for which terms are more commonly used, Google each term (in quotes) and compare the number of results.

Wireframe has the most results, and it's use to refer to a commonly understood noun in English also would make it the preferred choice. So use "wireframe".

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You can also run you search as a boolean to get them all together: (wireframe|"wire frame"|"wire-frame") – plainclothes Jan 3 '13 at 19:50
Note that that isn't a foolproof method of determining 'correctness' as what is 'most popular' isn't necessarily 'most correct'. – DA01 Jan 3 '13 at 21:53
While your advice is pragmatic, I'd prefer to use a dictionary. There are plenty of them online nowadays, so it won't be any more effort than googling. – Marjan Venema Jan 4 '13 at 11:27
@MarjanVenema all three options are acceptable language wise, so I don't see where a dictionary will help in choosing between them. – JohnGB Jan 4 '13 at 11:29
@JohnGB: My comment was not so much about this specific case, but about the trend to google for stuff or use wikipedia when more authoratative sources can be consulted just as easily. – Marjan Venema Jan 4 '13 at 14:09

The answer you'd get once you migrate this over to the English SE is to look for the comparative usage in modern text corpuses.

In the Corpus of Contemporary American English:

  • wireframe occurs 37 times
  • wire-frame also 37
  • wire frame 28

In the British National Corpus:

  • wireframe 24
  • wire-frame 0
  • wire frame 10

However, if you look at the context in which those are used, you'll find that they're referring to actual frames made of wire or to the style of eyeglasses. Wireframe (one word) is generally used in the UX context.

You could also try using Google Fights for comparison if you only care about frequency, but the problem is that this will not take into account the context of usage.

Edit: I just noticed that you tagged your question with "wireframe," not "wire-frame," not "wire frame." That's probably because the tag has been used 68 times on this site while the other two haven't been used at all. It looks to me like by posting your question you answered your question.

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