Beachgoer, Meeting Goer?

To know when "goer" should be attached to the prior word, start by checking a dictionary for the full word. Webster's New World College Dictionary, for example, has an entry for "beachgoer." But it doesn't have an entry for "meetinggoer."

Start by determining whether "goer" is a suffix or a noun. Suffixes are usually listed in dictionaries as such, indicated by a little hyphen in front of the word: -goer. When you see that, it means you can attach the suffix directly to the word with no hyphen. But -goer isn't in most dictionaries, so you would use the noun form, probably with no hyphen: "meeting goer." But because dictionaries often disagree and because the rules for hyphenating noun compounds are fuzzy, you have some leeway to follow your own preference.

Here's a more thorough explanation.


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