Thursday, January 01, 2004

Why do some otherwise brilliant editors refuse to come around on hyphens?

I recognize — even if I don't agree with — the resistance to using them in recognizable compound modifiers (that silly peanut-butter rule [take that!]).

But why is it not obvious that compound modifiers of more than two words take more than one hyphen? That makes it chicken-pox-like scars, not chicken pox-like scars, and hairy-wig-wearing women, not hairy wig-wearing women.

The second example shows why this rule is important. But the first example needs the extra hyphen just as much.


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