Q. I am editing a language arts textbook. The client wants to describe the activity of astronauts as “moonwalking.” As in, “When the moonwalk was completed, the astronauts were able to return to the lunar module, which would then reconnect with the command module.” Webster’s 11th Collegiate’s only definition of the closed compound is the dance move made famous by Michael Jackson. Although they probably won’t let me change it, I’d like to know if my instincts are correct and this should read “moon walk.”
A. If you can't rephrase (“After their walk on the moon”), then I’m with you—otherwise, young readers might form a very funny image of what the astronauts were doing up there.