The New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson

MS transcription; mis- and dis-

with 3 comments

It is often said that RLS puts a hyphen after the prefixes ‘mis-‘ and ‘dis-‘ (see earlier discussion). I think this is merely a linking line between ‘s’ and c/d/e/g/o/q and no attempt to write the prefix separately.

Here are two examples from the 1879 Lay Morals MS (B6498) of ‘disciple’ and ‘discipleship’ where ‘dis’ is certainly not a prefix, but where we still see the hyphen-like lead-in line to the following small-bowl letter:


3 Responses

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  1. But this could just be the carrying-over of a writing habit (dis followed by a hyphen) into words where it is not appropriate.

    I would be convinced if you could find samples which have the ‘s-c’ form that don’t come after di or mi at the start of the word. If the symbol is just a linking line between s and c (or d/e/g/o/q) and not a hyphen, it should be fairly easy to find examples showing this.

    Paul Durrant

    13/02/2012 at 2:27 pm

    • Good point. Convincing proof will come from something like ‘s-crub’ and from the complete absence of any mark after ‘dis’ in ‘dislike’ and other words whose root does not begin with a left-facing small-bowl letter.


      13/02/2012 at 2:52 pm

  2. […] as a hyphen. [For EdRLS, these marks have been interpreted as a non-significant link line; see this post in the blog and this one for a discussion. Barry defends his view in one of the comments to another […]

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