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Pedants' corner

Missing hyphens

(41 Posts)
MaizieD Fri 13-Apr-18 22:47:35

Does anyone else lament the death of the hyphenated word?

No-one has become 'noone', which I invariably first read as 'noon', and co-operate has become 'cooperate', which I, of course, read as 'coop erate'. Even worse is 'coworker' which has me wondering about people who work with cattle..

Anyone else or is it just me?

janeainsworth Fri 13-Apr-18 22:53:13

They still seem to be there in the books and news articles I read hmm

pensionpat Fri 13-Apr-18 23:00:30

I use them frequently. Can I clarify. Should I hyphenate fund-raising, or is it 2 seperate words? Or even 1. It's a word/phrase I write often.

absent Sat 14-Apr-18 06:49:29

Fund raising has become a constant task for village churches throughout the country. The school is holding a fund-raising cake sale on Friday.

OldMeg Sat 14-Apr-18 06:54:26

Good example Absent.

Baggs Sat 14-Apr-18 07:57:51

I think the change has come because we type rather than write and hyphens on a keyboard require more finger work than they do when you are writing by hand. We are short-cutting.

Auntieflo Sat 14-Apr-18 07:58:14

MaizieD, it took a while for me to realise what coworkers were the first time I read it. But I still think of them as 'cowboys/girls' whenever I see it written. So it's not just you.

JackyB Sat 14-Apr-18 09:50:41

Hear Hear! And at last a new subject in Pedants' Corner.

Theoddbird Sun 15-Apr-18 09:13:06

I will continue to use them..they make sense

BlueBelle Sun 15-Apr-18 09:18:12

I have not noticed them going perhaps I m unobservsnt
I still use them

Kim19 Sun 15-Apr-18 09:31:18

I'm with you, BlueBelle in that I hadn't noticed their demise. I certainly regularly use them and confess to often having to pause to say 'now, is that hyphenated or not?' Daresay I sometimes get it wrong!

Happysexagenarian Sun 15-Apr-18 09:34:44

I always use hyphens, but I notice that my children don't particularly when texting or emailing. Neither do they use punctuation or speech marks. The speed of electronic communication is making us lazy!!

Saggi Sun 15-Apr-18 09:56:04

Language evolves all the time... if you don't believe me... try listening to or reading Canterbury Tales in the vernacular. You will not understand 1 word in 3. Our language is changing all the time mostly I think for the better ...and our spelling could do with some clarification.

Skweek1 Sun 15-Apr-18 10:12:31

As a proofreader - there's a nightmare in itself! - there are very strict rules about what is and is not hyphenated this week! I agree, but hadn't considered the cattle handler - will never ever look at my fellow administrators/colleagues in the same way again!

David1968 Sun 15-Apr-18 10:49:39

I hadn't realised this is happening! Still love the hyphen & use it often.

Myym Sun 15-Apr-18 11:05:49

My family surname has been hyphenated for many generations, long before it became popular to do so.

Nowadays, I find I get annoyed when I have to spell my name to the younger generation and they look at me blankly as they don't know what a 'hyphen' is. I've had
/ > ! inserted between the two names as until I've said 'dash' they have no knowledge of what I meant.

I even had one bright young thing write my surname with the full word hyphen included...well that is what she meant to put but sadly she didn't manage to spell the word correctly and wrote hiphan !

sarahellenwhitney Sun 15-Apr-18 11:10:50

Ask Alexagrin

balloonlady Sun 15-Apr-18 11:17:47

I agree entirely. It's not just hyphens though, what about apostrophies and the eternal "ink" instead of "ing", It drives me mad that our beautiful language is being destroyed by idiots.

Nanny27 Sun 15-Apr-18 11:49:28

Haven't really noticed the demise of the hyphen but am laughing my socks off at the insertion of the word 'hyphen' in your name myym. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Legs55 Sun 15-Apr-18 11:53:10

It annoys me intensely & I still hyphenate words as I feel they look wrongconfused

ReadyMeals Sun 15-Apr-18 12:14:27

I think it's because instead of generating our own hyphens with fresh ink, we now have to get them from a pool on our computer server or the cloud. Obviously storage isn't infinite and if we overuse any character the store of that would run out. That's why there is no longer two spaces after a full stop, because even a space is actually an ASCII character.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 15-Apr-18 12:22:24

The move away from hyphens in favour of writing some previously hyphenated words either as one word or two (a minefield in itself) occurred in Scotland when I was in the fourth form. I can clearly remember Mrs Holloway our form mistress going through to-day becoming today on the blackboard. The year must have been the school-year (school year) of 1956-57.

I don't remember what else apart from to-day, form-mistress, sewing-teacher and the like lost their hyphens then. I do know it has got much worse since.

I still write co-op if I mean the chain of shops, as coop is what I would keep my hens in, if I had any.

Incidentally, when did it become incorrect to punctuate as I just did in the previous sentence?
I was taught that a subordinate clause was always separated from a principal clause by a comma. Now you are only supposed to separate the subordinate clause from the principal by means of a comma, if it precedes the principal clause and not if it follows it.

Sometimes I feel the changes in spelling and punctuation actually make it harder to write correctly.

Admittedly, which words should be hyphenated and which should not was always a peculiar discipline. Form-mistress with a hyphen or in two words schoolmistress in one word, like headmistress/ headmaster, and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

(Yes, I am still a strong believer in the so-called Oxford comma : comma before "and").

And I was taught to leave a space or half-space before colons and semi-colons, which rule no longer applies either, due mainly to the computer keyboard not having a half-space forward key like the typewriter did.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 15-Apr-18 12:24:04

I assure you Saggi, those of us who are used to various Scottish dialects can understand a great deal more of the original Canterbury tales than one word in three!

holdingontometeeth Sun 15-Apr-18 12:39:42

Is my mind playing tricks on me, or am I correct in saying the education system of about 30 years ago put more emphasis on the sounding of words rather than the correct spelling?

GabriellaG Sun 15-Apr-18 13:37:49

pensionpat.
Fund raising is fine both ways but separate has only 1 e.