I spotted a typo today that I wanted to address in my Tip of the Day.
The word used was co-mingle, which is not a real word. I can see why the writer thought it would be a word, though.
The prefix “co–” means “with, together, joint or jointly,” and “mingle” means to mix together. So if you’re talking about two separate fluid streams being mixed together, one might think “co-mingle” would express that thought.
However, there are three things wrong with this line of thinking.
First, the prefix “co–” is a joined prefix, which means there would be no hyphen in the word – unless the part of the word after the “co–” starts with the letter O, as in co-owner.
Second, the word “mingle” has the connotation of maintaining the identities of the mingled things. Webster’s Ninth dictionary says: “to bring or mix together or with something else, usually without fundamental loss of identity.” Now, when you mix two production streams, they lose their individual properties, making allocation of the mixture difficult (but not impossible, using the latest technologies).
Third, there is already a proper word for this concept: commingle. Webster defines it thusly: “to blend thoroughly into a harmonious whole.” This captures the reality of what happens when two production streams are combined into a homogenous fluid.
So, let’s use “commingle” when blending two or more streams of production together.