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I want to insert a sub menu called "X axis".

Should it be "X axis", "X-axis" or something else?

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1 Answer 1

Attention to microcopy is very important! (See footnote)

The fragment phrase X axis is two words where axis is the noun and X is the descriptor (or qualifier) that specifies which axis you are talking about.

Meanwhile x-axis is one (albeit hyphenated) noun by which that particular axis is called.

So a valid sentence might be:

The X axis is called the x-axis, while the Y axis is termed the y-axis. The evil-axis could be a one word label for George W Bush's axis of evil.

In a menu, either might be right depending on your scenario:

For example:

This describes the axis for which you want to change the label settings:

  • Settings > X axis > Label

While this one says you want to change the visibility of the x-axis:

  • Settings > Display > x-axis

Subtle but different!


Note: I'm happy to have this answer corrected by someone more versed in the nuances of English and Maths!

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