AP's how-to-use-hyphens-wisely guide causes consternation among pedants

Aw, don’t even get me started on em and en dashes!

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And my axe!

Yep. :slightly_smiling_face:

“Proscriptive” would be “what you shouldn’t say.”

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Listen (and I mean “Listen” like Beyoncé sings it) bc here’s what I told my community college students: The semi-colon is the most elegant and mature of all punctuation marks. If y’all don’t feel comfortable throwing it in a sentence, then don’t. Now, the hyphen, it’s equally appealing, but don’t do it unless you are first comfortable with the comma. All rules are meant to be broken, but if you don’t know the rules, then you can’t break them.


Synthetic / agglutinative languages FTW!

Strunk, here. All you Chicago punks can, and should, (note the split verb usage of the idiot writing this nonsense. He couldn’t find a perfect future perfect if his insignificant little life depended on it [see, he just did it again, using the superfluously redundant “little” after “insignificant,” which implies marginal importance. And now he’s done it again saying redundancy is superfluous, when of course it obviously is, as superfluousness is implied in the meaning of “redundancy.” God, will it ever end?]).


All text should be non-hyphenated.


Fowler’s FTW


I see what you didn’t do there…


I don’t know.

But on a quiz, Mary, where Jane had had “had had”, had had “had”. “Had had” had had the teacher’s approval, but she said that that “that that” that that boy had had was incorrect.


Think I posted this before, but it’s so good… Raymond Chandler once sent this poem to the editor of The Atlantic for the attention of a proofreader (the Miss Mutch of line 1) who had meddled with his work:

There’s more too, which you can read, along with the background and the accompanying letter, on the awesome Letters of Note.


Strunk wouldn’t know a passive construction if he got punched in the face by one, though – all his complaining on this point notwithstanding.


And don’t get me started on dangling participles. As a proponent of readability, the Boing Boing style guide should forbid them.

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And ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.


I think it was correct, the action of forbidding something; banning. “the proscription of the party after the 1715 Rebellion”

In an article about pedantry, why not point out that the word “proscriptive” refers to forbidding things; the matter of requiring them is “prescriptive,” as with your physician’s prescription for medicines.

Your friendly neighborhood pedant.

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Yeah, but we could delve into the idea of should. When we talk about grammar scolds and what they say we should do, isn’t proscription their real thing? That is, the should is a passive-aggressive way of saying, “you’d better not…”

It’s not about trying to get you to do the right thing, it’s about trying to exercise imaginary authority to forbid you from using the word “literally” the way Mark Twain used it. Or from using “they” they way it’s been used as early as the 14th century. So it’s at least arguable that really we’re talking about condemnation, which is proscriptive rather than prescriptive.

Your friendly neighbourhood meta-pedant.

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I’ve posted my share of weird run-on sentences, but this Merrill Perlman person should know better

Hey y’all, and all y’all’ll barely believe this: in the South, we don’t use hyphens. We use apostrophes. And if it needs hyphenation, then that there probly ain’t worth sayin’.