Monday, March 29, 2010

About Hyphens

There's Only One Child Myth

What I'm pretty sure Time is talking about is "the only-child myth." A myth about only children, not the only myth about children.

(If anyone cites "the '-ly' rule" as an excuse for this ridiculous refusal to hyphenate, I'm going to, in the words of a certain Holly Hunter character, lose it.) 

The Hyphen & Striped Socks Rule

Subject: Hyphens

OK, so I read the Punctuation Guide in the AP Stylebook for hyphens but am still having difficulty.

Is it, "She trades black-and-white striped socks for . . ." 
or is it,
"She trades black- and white-striped socks for . . . ?"
Can you tell me which is correct, and why?
Sorry. :( This is just a bit tricky to me, and other jou-peers are equally perplexed.

Thank you.

A very good question. It is a matter of logic.
If you say black-and-white-striped (note hyphen after white) socks, you mean socks that have both black and white stripes.
If you say black- and white-striped socks (note the space after black and no hyphen after the “and”), you mean socks that have black stripes and other socks that have white stripes.

Hope this helps
Dr. R

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