This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Missing Link: a rant.

A word in your shelllike, if you please.

I was queueing in the local Coop behind a shiny helmeted man (presumably a reenactor: I would have asked him, except that for him English seemed to be a nonnative language) who was hoping to buy an antiinflamatory because his artificial knee surgeon couldn't do him a quick fixup when I saw a notice about the reuse of deicing fluid above the processed baby food shelf...

Well, no, of course I didn't.

Although hyphens have a natural tendency to fade away over time (e-mail, for instance, is steadily becoming email: and why not), some hyphens we really do need forever.

Otherwise reinvented can look at first glance as if it has something to do with reins, and we have no way of knowing what is the region of expertise of a Chinese cookery teacher.

Having said that, I must admit that a world in which a transport authority does not produce a headline proclaiming:


would undoubtably be a poorer one. Wouldn't it.

Word To Use Today: one with an non-negotiable hyphen. Like smear-resistant, perhaps.


  1. I was just about to ask you to explain NONNATIVE!! Excellent post!

  2. Thanks so much, Adele.

    Yes, that one made me think hard. It's confusingly like nominative, isn't it.