Happy Friday, dear readers! Today the Grammar Cop wishes to present a post which could also be called: Fear of Punctuation. Let us coin a word for this unfortunate affliction: punctuatophobia. The first gaffe is from the Montreal Gazette, which should know better. The last two are from our grammatically challenged local weekly, The Suburban.
- “New home sales jump in the U.S.” There should be a hyphen between new and home. Why? Because the headline refers to the sales of new homes. They are new-home sales. It is not discussing home sales that are new – as opposed to the old sales of last week! Do you see what I mean? Moreover, within the article itself there is the same sin of another missing hyphen: “…fuelling a real estate surge.” A hyphen is needed between real and estate. Why? Because it is not talking about an estate surge that is real. It is a real-estate surge.
- “…a high school degree might have been enough…” Here we have another mislaid hyphen. It should say high-school degree. All these hyphenated words have the same thing in common: they are adjectival phrases, which means that the two words together combine (joined by a hyphen) to act as one lovely adjective, describing the noun that follows. (And by the way, I love the irony in the fact that this mistake was in the paper’s “Back to School” supplement.)
- I must preface this boo-boo by pointing out that the writer has an extreme fear of punctuation and should seek immediate help. I hope he/she overcomes this ailment pronto! Get a load of this run-on mess in a pharmacy ad: “Many lice treatments exist and some may even be covered by your insurance so always ask a pharmacist to help you choose the best product and discuss with you non-pharmacological measures of destroying the lice that may be found on sheets, toys, etc.” Gasp! Must… take… huge… breath… before I… fall into… a comma! 😀
I need to lie down now. See you next week!