Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



This call goes out to my fellow-grammarians, world-wide… please join me (hyphenate me?) in my fight-back against the hi-tech, web-led demise of the -.(Yes, kiddies, it’s called, properly, a hyphen, not a dash. Exceptions are, or should be, the province of the printing trade and crossword compilers.)

While sifting through e-mails and drinking my post-breakfast coffee, my eye was caught by a little gem at the Reuters site.

Of course languages evolve to absorb new words and, sometimes, to lose old-fashioned ones! I have no problem with this. Indeed, part of my fascination with words is the complex route most words have taken throughout history.

No, my quibble is that this current change is fad-driven. Already, we have a generation of kids whose use of cell-phones is producing muscular thumbs and lousy spelling. Removing hyphens simply to accommodate technology is, I think, the thin end of a wedge. I can imagine someone saying, in the not-too-distant future, that we may as well eliminate the apostrophe ’cause no-one knows how to use it these days.

Our ancestors made a huge sacrifice for oral and written language. Please don’t let the dictionary-compilers* kow-tow to the nerdy masses!

Okay, I managed to get in a few hyphens that I could have avoided. And maybe it’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but I really do like my hyphens!


This was the nest site chosen by a dopey dove…

…as you can see, not the most palatial of homes!

Apparently, the dove finally saw it that way, too. The tv aerial is once more just an aerial. I don’t know where the doves are nesting now, but there are plenty of good sites available to them.


Now for a clue, a hint, an indication…The Blogiversary Lucky Dip will be a small piece of (highly-collectible!) art. Perhaps a lino print, like this. Or perhaps something else.

Remember, folks, all you have to do is leave a comment on the anniversary post. Me? Well, I have to get cracking and create, don’t I?


*Just a foot-note…if you would like to know more about the Oxford Dictionary, I suggest you read “The Surgeon of Crowthorne” by Simon Winchester. I also suggest you keep the Kleenex handy.

Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

17 thoughts on “HERE’S A HOWDY-DO!

  1. I’ve always spelled bumblebee as one word…same with potbelly.

    And I never used a hyphen for ice cream…I had no clue that I was “misspelling” those words!


  2. Oh, I don’t think you were “misspelling”, Cat. In my previous post, I wrote ice cream as 2 words. Not a hyphen in sight! It’s like the old song “you say tomayto, I say tomarto” Doesn’t mean we should call the whole thing off!


  3. What an interesting post about the lost of hyphen’s. I hadn’t really thought about it, but now you mention it I am seeing its loss everywhere LOL!

    golly even I am starting to say u instead of you when texting my daughter, and now write LOL in my letters. I had one friend (non computer user) write and ask what all the LOL’s were in my letter. I am so used to it I didn’t even think about it.


  4. I couldn’t agree more. I’m astonished and befuddled when I see my 19-year-old son’s writings. I know it’s not just him, but all his peers as well. They can’t spell to save their lives. I read somewhere that capitalization is at risk as well. Can you just imagine?


  5. jafa…ooh, I know what you mean _ I had to ask my brother about rofl and other “words.” I suppose it’s not unlike the secret codes we used as kids, except that we also knew how to do “proper” spelling!

    rimshot…welcome aboard!Seems we’re singing from the same hymn sheet.


  6. (hello d! have posted something on my avatar for you. . .)


  7. I already have a hyphen so does Himself – can I have 3 do you think?


  8. ziggi…why not? or, why-the-hell-not!


  9. i tend to scatter them at random. that way i figure i get at least some of them right, and the count towards the ‘A for effort’ points. if they do away with the semicolon, i’m sunk.


  10. …the REST!
    and the REST count towards the

    ah screw it.


  11. FN…in your case, I think content gets the ‘A’


  12. Oh please, my pet peeve. I write and edit articles for a high-tech company and forget hyphens … they make up whole new words! Like, ‘it’s tabelized’ …

    I just bought an updated dictionary and it’s amazing how many former grammatically incorrect words are now in there because they’re so often used.


  13. Yes, I’m afraid I am also a somewhat-random, maverick, hyphen-user! (I have always tended towards ‘creative’ grammer and punctuation).


  14. those-Tongans-looked-far-too-handy!



  15. bibi and tlc…yes, I like some of the newer creative phrases(why wouldn’t I, having a truckload of my own!, but I get cranky when those who should know better become downright lazy.
    ziggi…you don’t know the half!


  16. Even though I was once a journalist my husband, The Pedant, proofs my blog posts and insists on edits.
    I punctuate text messages.
    Many thanks for visiting my blog and your generous comments, Dinah. I always get a kick out of yours.


  17. robyn…thankyou. The Man doesn’t proof my posts, but would be quick to spot any errors!


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