This probably explains my difficulty with punctuation. I have no respect for it. I write as I speak, generally. I’ve always been a weak spellerer. Something to do with right to left brain exchange. So much so that whilst at Uni the now late Australian Author, Thea Astley used to deduct marks for spelling mistakes in my literature essays, no matter how good they were. She’d knock off half a mark for a grammatical error and one for spelling. I thought that’s what sub-editors and proofreaders were for! I was therefore very relieved to fall into a journalistic/creative writing career where someone else worried about all those commas, colons and full stops as well as my shocking spllig. As a result, my writing style is a little rambly but definitely narrative and conversational. A bit like me after three glasses of bubbly.
So it’s no skin of my nose to discover that about 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.
Ice-cream is now icecream (we always knew it was Icecream, youscream, we allscream for icecream) but now it has even more companions. The word ‘email’ apparently yields more Google search results than ‘e-mail’. The poor old hyphen has been made obsolete through conversations conducted via text and email, spread on the interwebyness and seepage into newspapers and even books. Another factor in the hyphen's demise is designers' distaste for its ungainly horizontal bulk between words. Yeay, a victory for the arty farty.
Personally, I’m ambivolent about the hyphen although I’m not a fan of hyphenated names:
I mean one could retain Hilary Smythe-Bottomly . . .but it has the smell of the hunt about it. Besides, from a personal perpective, I fought long and hard for my married name. Ray had to chase me pretty hard before I caught him, it was exausting! I’m not giving it up. Had I married Mr Cocks or Mr Bottom, I might have thought differently.
So now Adam and Eve wear a figleaf and should get off their hobbyhorse and stop being crybabies about being castout from the garden for eating icecream. They’re lucky to escape with their pinmoney and something to cover Eve’s potbelly. Perhaps they should have considered testtube conception prior to doing the deed on their waterbed and playing sexual leapfrog, the lowlife outcasts. I hate to pigeonhole them but they did take it over the touchline!