Tuesday, April 29, 2008

To Hyphenate or No

I am helping a friend who wanted lessons in English grammar. i find the going rather tough (having slept through grammar classes in school).

Anyways, today, I wanted to send across an exercise in hyphenation and, not wanting to go back to real-life technical documents, I came up with the following:

It was the twenty fifth of December, in the seventy third year of the reign of Kind Edgar, that the saviour was born. On that star studded night when the gentle shepherds were tending their sheep and when the blue jays had gone to sleep, a child was born to white faced Maria. While the sandal shod husband stood and looked, the hay filled manger lit up with the smile of the child. The smile went a skipping, broke into a thousand pieces and ascended the night sky to burn a golden coloured star. The wise men in the east, who had grown old, bearded and heavy hearted awaiting the birth of the saviour, saw the star and exclaimed, "Here comes the world saviour and the sin redeemer." And they ran towards the west. Little did they know that King Edgar had started a faith based census where every evil doer would be asked the following two questions: Is it self evident that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the birth right of all human beings? Is it that all passwords to Hell should be case sensitive? All such evil doers who could not submit their responses in the government issued template were to be thrice whipped and twice drowned before being hanged on the cross till death.

Am waiting to see what happens. I am not too sure about hyphens either....



suman kumar said...

'To hyphenate or NOT' would have been an appropriate title. No?

Anindita said...

Yes :) I agree. But I kind of got tired of dragging Hamlet in everywhere.

Shubhajit said...

hyphens are obsolete

Anindita said...

I don't think so. The moment one set of words loses its hyphen, another set pops up that has hyphens. Besides, hyphens serve the very important role, in noun phrases, of separating the noun from its modifier.