Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hyphen Shortages

For those who have missed my rants about anti-child abuse programs, Banterist offers an excellent illustration of the one-hyphen-short error.


H. Philip Aster said...

On a somewhat similar note, I had an issue with hyphens in a piece about "partial-birth abortion," specifically when it was necessary (or convenient, rather) to refer to state laws criminalizing partial-birth abortion: partial-birth-abortion bans. It seems that the extra hyphen makes people uncomfortable. (I am aware that the term "partial-birth abortion" or "partial-birth" abortion, as some prefer, is an obvious dysphemism that is medically inaccurate. I used "intact D & E" in the article when possible.)

Bill said...

Yes, for the world beyond newspapers and ASCII there is the en dash, but it just doesn't work for me -- and I don't trust that people without Ivy League degrees in English have the foggiest idea what's going on when they see such a thing.

Bill said...

Sound-bite-free radio, without a doubt. We can't always have aesthetics, as I've been painfully reminded so often.

On the other hand: Technically, yes, it would be long-term-care insurance and long-term-care facility, but that's the kind of construction on which I weasel out of the technicality and maintain that we are indeed talking about care insurance and care facilities, and so a care facility of the long-term variety can certainly be called a long-term care facility, with one hyphen. Quite different from abuse legislation that is anti-child or free radio of a sound-bite nature.