Usage and Grammar

Q. When I see the sign OVERSIZE LOAD on the back of trucks, it feels grammatically incorrect. Shouldn’t it be OVERSIZED LOAD or OVER-SIZED LOAD? Please tell me so I can either smirk when I see this sign or apologize to my family.

A. It’s always wise to consult an authority before smirking. In CMOS you can find over listed with other prefixes at 7.89, section 4, where you’ll see it without a hyphen: overmagnified, overshoes, etc. The main entry at is “oversize (or oversized).”