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jdporter (36)

Journal of jdporter (36)

Thursday June 20, 2002
07:22 AM


[ #5800 ]
People don't know how to use hyphens.

"Well-oiled machine" vs. "machine is well oiled".

The first form is something you frequently see with the hyphen (erroneously) omitted; getting the second form wrong is more rare, but still happens.

What I'm seeing a lot more these days, which makes me cringe, is using a hyphen in numbers where it's not appropriate, especially with currency. For example,

A budget of 5-million-dollars was approved...

or, similarly with temporal units:

She was 5-years-old at the time...

Or variations thereon. In all-these cases, there should be no-hyphens! ;-)

One of the worst offenders I've seen is the guy who writes the copy for WJLA T.V. news in Wash.D.C..

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  • People don't know how to use hyphens.

    Regrettably, they don't teach this stuff in schools, it's not well explained anywhere I can find, and most people find it quite hard to just pick it up by example.