Monday, February 28, 2005

855 Slivers and hyphens

At my other other blog, Church of the Acronym, I'll write more about the wonderful artwork of Dr. Tennyson Williams (can't find my notes at the moment). The Visual Arts Ministry hung his show on Saturday morning. Sometimes the equipment isn't the best and my husband picked up a sliver in his hand from the step ladder. A metal sliver. So I found a needle and a tweezers for him (he was on his own then--I'm squeamish).

I've written before about hyphens, and I think they are useful used with discretion, but when over done they pierce like a sliver. Hyphens are irritating to the flow of language when poking around where they aren't needed. A one column article on technology by Lee Gomes in today's WSJ had at least 14 hyphenated adjectives--my eyes were glazing over.

innovator-entrepreneurs; open-source; free-flowing; eye-glazing (yup!); start-up; hedge-fund; heat-seeking; computer-programming; space-time; already-crowded; high-tech; file-sharing; write-up; earth-shaking.

I'm thinking Mr. Gomes didn't slap all those hyphens in there on the qwerty keyboard--he'll get carpal tunnel of the little finger--but would they have that many editorial assistants with nothing to do? Is it a hyphen-gap-finding-inserting program?

1 comment:

Paula said...

It drives me NUTS when peeps put hyphens after "ly" words. You know. "And this is a perfectly-good example of blah de blah."