Which is right, ‘proof reader’, ‘proof-reader’ or ‘proofreader’?
Well, unfortunately, the answer is all three. The hyphenated version is rarely used, however; though, strictly speaking, it isn’t wrong, simply uncommon. The single- and two-word versions are both correct but it would appear that ‘proofreader’ is in the ascendancy and ‘proof reader’ is slowly sliding out of favour.
My own preference is for ‘proof reader’. There’s no particular reason for that, I just like it. Two distinct words. Proof. Reader. I don't know, it just seems so much more satisfying.
So, why, if I prefer ‘proof reader’, have I been methodically eradicating all trace of that form and replacing it with ‘proofreader’?
The answer is simple: Google.
Google prefers ‘proofreader’ and as I want my website to perform well in Google searches, I’ve been forced to go with the flow. So, from now on, it’ll be ‘proofreader’ and not ‘proof reader’.
But I don’t have to like it.