» I’ve spent years studying compound nouns, vaguely aware that the hyphen in “dog-lover” clarifies that the dog is the object of the love, whereas in “dog lover,” without the hyphen, the dog is a stud. “Star fucker,” in this context, definitely should have taken the hyphen. See how, with the hyphen, the weight of the word comes down on the first half of the compound? Star-fucker. Without the hyphen, the word tips, giving equal weight to both nouns and turning the compound from an insult to a term of endearment.
They really do need to let their copyeditors write more.
June 28, 2012, 4:03pm Comments