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Hyphen-hatred Times? 4 October 2007

Filed under: Correct English Usage,News — worddocdooley @ 12:25pm
Tags: , , ,

The Oxford English Dictionary is ditching the hyphen! Well, at least those found in approximately 16,00 words. The reason, apparently, is the declining use of hyphens in our communications, not least electronic communication.

Language is meant to evolve, and as long as there isn’t any confusion over ‘new usage’, then I’m all for the demise of the hyphen. But only in certain situations. And only if it helps the reader’s understanding.

As Chris Robinson, who edits for Scottish Language Dictionaries and gives classes in advanced writing at the University of Edinburgh, says: “Language is always changing. It has to move with the times. There have to be conventions. There has to be a negotiated common ground but within that there’s room for variation and a degree of creativity.”

What about you? Do you wish to follow the tide, or do you have an overwhelming desire to defend the shunned hyphen? Moreover, how do you feel about the changing ‘face’ of the English language? Please share your thoughts via the ‘comments’ link below. Thanks!

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7004661.stm

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