Several readers wrote in to point out to us that "lifehacking" was given an honourable mention in the Macquarie Dictionary's 2014 words of the year list. I'm torn over this. It's nice that the Macquarie editors noticed — but with that said, they seem a little late to the party.
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Lifehacker Australia has been running for almost eight years. Our parent site Lifehacker US just celebrated its tenth anniversary. And even when the original site launched, the phrase "lifehacking" was already in heavy use online.
The winners and honourable mentions are chosen from newly-added words from the annual Macquarie update. Given that timeline, part of me feels that, even allowing for the inherent conservatism of dictionary management, that the addition should have happened some time earlier. And then the other part of me remembers that Lifehacker had its biggest year ever in 2014, so perhaps it's just a question of reaching critical mass.
In any case, this event does provide us with an opportunity to reaffirm the correct way of spelling "lifehacker" and related terms. The Macquarie defines "lifehacking" as
the application of strategies or shortcuts used to simplify or improve any aspect of one's life
It also notes "lifehacker" as a noun, similarly spelled as one word.
While both terms were created by combining two existing words, when such an expression falls into common usage it's often the case in English that it will become a single portmanteau word. That is what has happened here.
Also: If you're referring to Lifehacker the publication (hi!), then you need a capital L. There isn't a space in between the two words (Life Hacker), an interim capital (LifeHacker) or an hyphen (Life-Hacker).
One word, one unquestionably useful idea. Accuracy matters. Happy lifehacking!
Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.