THIS refers to a back-page photograph published in a local English-language daily on July 30. Part of the text below the photograph says ‘though a foot over-bridge is still there.’ I have come across the word ‘foot over bridge’ a number of times in our English-language newspapers. It made me curious. Sometimes, it was written ‘foot over bridge’ ‘foot over-bridge’.
I, therefore, looked it up in the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Third Edition). I could not find either ‘over-bridge’ or ‘foot over-bridge’ anywhere in the dictionary or the CD-ROM that is supplied with it. The only word I found was ‘footbridge’. The meaning of the word was given as follows: ‘a narrow bridge that is only used by people who are walking.’ However, enterprising people in Bangladesh even set up ‘rent free’ stalls. Possibly, it is because the bridge is not narrow enough.
Since I could not find the compound word ‘foot over-bridge’, I would be grateful if you or some reader could give me the source where to find this word and also how it came to be used since my knowledge of English is very limited, having read only up to ISc in 1950, when we had only one paper in English with four compulsory subjects in science. Subsequently, I graduated in engineering in 1954, where English was the only language used.
In my opinion, perhaps the pertinent clause you wrote could have been as follows: ‘though a footbridge is still there’. I hope you will agree with me that this would have been appropriate.
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