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HD: Ranting About Hyphens
Posted: 11 December 2012 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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One may be temped to call that an mmm...-dash.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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I would have expected LH’s response to ElizaD to have been http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf

Heh.  I like that!

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Posted: 11 December 2012 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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through the snow?

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Posted: 11 December 2012 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Pray, let us unforget the haberdash:

Well, if we’re going for broke, and getting silly while we’re at it, why not include the karandash, or Russian pencil - rather longer than those dashes heretofore discussed

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Posted: 12 December 2012 01:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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And see how silliness has its own rewards! I now know of the Russian pencil and, to cheer me further on this bitterly cold morning, Google reveals a man in a silly hat, a famed Russian clown called Karandash (who must have been gifted indeed tp raise laughter under the Soviet yoke).

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Posted: 12 December 2012 02:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Skibs, your link doesn’t work for me.

Because it’s not that simple

But it is! You understand my sentences perfectly well, even if your dashes would have been a millimetre or so shorter or longer than mine, so why fret over some unnecessary convention where the only ones who notice or even care is a tiny minority?  Plain English means clear, understandable and unfussy English, and this is one instance meaning is not affected and where the experts need to stop fretting over inconsequentialities.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Skibs, your link doesn’t work for me.

ElizaD, Dashed if I know why. Does for me (and lh, I see). But, funny things happen on the way to this Forum! I’ve a good mind to suggest to Dave that we should re—name it, and call it Dash-Board. I can visualise the name-changing ceremony, with Dave officiating and declaring,” I hereby re—name this vessel the Dash-Board and may the OED gods bless all who rail in her.”
PS Apologies to Lionello who must by now be apoplectic. This frivolity must have something to do with the up-coming December 21 events - Mayan the farce be with you!

Edited for important vowel change!

[ Edited: 12 December 2012 03:29 AM by Skibberoo ]
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Posted: 12 December 2012 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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It’s fine to say that you don’t need to satisfy the irrational demands of a small minority when most people don’t know or care when you should be using a hyphen, an en-dash, or an em-dash, but when that small minority is the vast majority of the people who are going to decide whether you will be paid for your hyphenated efforts you’d be well-advised to learn and apply those rules.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I’m surprised no one has made a Kar-dash-ian joke.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Dave, Do you really want your male posters and lurkers hyphen-ventilating?

(To refresh your memory, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Kardashian )

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Posted: 12 December 2012 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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when that small minority is the vast majority of the people who are going to decide whether you will be paid for your hyphenated efforts you’d be well-advised to learn and apply those rules

Prescriptivism rules okay!

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Posted: 12 December 2012 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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In trying to come to terms with this hyphen-thing, I have tentatively concluded that hyphens are more akin to letters rather than to words. As I see it then, hyphens (and other elements of punctuation) seem to be part the mechanical underpinning, or infrastructure of the written word.

Thinking with this tentative conclusion, the idea of prescriptivism vs. descriptivism does not seem to neatly apply to the rules governing the use of the various hyphens.

I tried an analogy: What if an author persisted in using an “N” where an “M” was required, or a “V” where a “U” was required? Or other arbitrary, near-look-alike letter substitutes? That little squiggle on the “Q”, for instance; what would be lost if an “O” were substituted? 

I might consider the author to be functionally illiterate. But only if I knew the letters well enough to notice the deviation from standard practice.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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In trying to come to terms with this hyphen-thing, I have tentatively concluded that hyphens are more akin to letters rather than to words.

But they - hyphens, dashes/em-dashes, en-dashs - aren’t either.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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In trying to come to terms with this hyphen-thing, I have tentatively concluded that hyphens are more akin to letters rather than to words.

They are usually considered punctuation marks, not letters or words.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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...As I see it then, hyphens (and other elements of punctuation) seem to be part the mechanical underpinning, or infrastructure of the written word. ...

??

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