The Grammar Cop never sleeps. Today I am presenting five instances of a widespread malady called “Hyphen-o-phobia.” And four of the instances are in promotional pieces for posh private schools. Shame on them.
- “A 7% income tax cut for middle class Canadians” LIBERAL PARTY AD. Okay, here are two goofs for the price of one, in our non-school example of hyphen-o-phobia. That should be income-tax cut and middle-class Canadians.
- Now the schools. All these examples are taken from articles in the FREE PRESS. First up: “Life worthy learning: learning that is likely to matter in the lives learners are likely to live.” Ick. Aside from the horribly awkward phrasing and word choice, that should be Life-worthy. Whatever the heck that is!
- [Our] computer coding and robotics programs fine tune students’ critical thinking skills…” That should be fine-tune. I’m also partial to computer-coding, because it’s actually part of a phrase, “computer-coding programs.”
- “…a group that earned a 100 per cent success rate.” Come on. Let’s get a hyphen in there! Can’t leave those parts of an adjectival phrase floating in the ether all by themselves! Join ’em up: 100-percent success rate. (A note on percent: The Grammar Cop prefers it as one word, rather than as per cent, since after all we don’t say “per centage, but percentage.)
- Last one, the ever-popular “classes at our high school campus…” NO. High-school campus!
I give these schools a well-deserved ‘F.’