Back Up Your Backup and Long Live Redundancy!

Dear Copy Bitch: Should “back up” be one word or two?

–IT Geek

Answer: It depends on how you’re using it. If you’re using it as a verb phrase, then it should be two words. If you’re using it as a noun meaning a physical duplicate, then it should be one.

Examples:
1.  Mr. IT Geek, please back up my Pulitzer Prize-worthy novel and George Clooney photo collection. (Back up is two words because it’s a verb phrase.)

2.  Where’s the backup of my George Clooney photo collection? (Backup is one word, since it’s an actual physical duplicate.)

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