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Thursday, 14 October 2021

Hyp-hens again: a rant.

 A hyp-hen is not a variety of chicken with a penchant for lumberjack shirts, but a badly placed hyphen.

The latest example I've come across is demandled - which, yes, strictly-speaking isn't a hyp-hen at all because in that case the necessary hyphen has been left out altogether, but it's the same kind of thing. Demand-led, please (though demandle is a lovely word, if obscure in meaning. Could it mean to cuddle a needy child? We could do with a word for that.).

Then there are mincep-


I came across that one the other day in a Trollope short story. You eat them at Christmas. Yes, mince-pies

Then, from an advertisement for a Men's-wear Catalogue:




Now, these mish-

aps are bound to occur because writers are all idiots. They're human, for one thing, and, for another, they tend to have their minds on other things than grammar.

But where are the steely and eagleeyed (yes, all right, eagle-eyed) copywriters?

Swept away in a wave of costcu-

tting, I fear. 

But don't we just miss them?

Word To Use Today: one with a hyphen. The word hyphen comes from the Greek word huphen, which means together, from hupo- which means under, plus heis, which means one.

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