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The Copy Editor’s Quandary: Is ‘Douche Bag’ One Word Or Two?

Former copy editor and current AOL editor Lori Fradkin settles that timeless copy editing question once and for all in The Awl–is it douche bag or douchebag?

The word is douche bag. Douche space bag. People will insist that it’s one closed-up word–douchebag–but they are wrong. When you cite the dictionary as proof of the division, they will tell you that the entry refers to a product women use to clean themselves and not the guy who thinks it’s impressive to drop $300 on a bottle of vodka. You will calmly point out that, actually, the definition in Merriam-Webster is “an unattractive or offensive person” and not a reference to Summer’s Eve. They will then choose to ignore you and write it as one word anyway.

Glad we got that straightened out. We here at FBLA have blowing that one for years.

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