I was on a website the other day and on their home page they described how they ‘were setup in 1993’. This looks plain wrong to me.

There’s an easy distinction to me. To set up is the verb, it’s two words, like put up, show up, grow up and so on. Setup is a noun, and a pretty modern one at that.

It simply reads much better to say ‘we were set up in 1993’, or better still, since passive verbs are not great in this context, ‘we set up the business in 1993.’

Here are some more examples of how verb and noun drive a different format of the word or words:

‘The setup was all wrong for that meeting.’

‘That meeting was a disaster. They set us up.’

‘Let’s set up the meeting this way, because the right setup will set us up for a good outcome.’

Verb is two words, noun one.

Yes, I know I’m being slightly pedantic and the sense is clear from what the company has written on their website, even thought they don’t know or care about the distinction. But it looks odd that way, and puts me off. Is it just me?

 

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