Grammar rule changes - hyphens! Words & their new meanings! And more!

joanne

(Jamie, I really really miss the emojis)

Who else is aware of the hyphen wars?? That is, when do we hyphenate compound nouns or phrases?  Apparently in recent months there have been not-so-secret (sorry, not so secret) changes to The Grammar Rules!

https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/09/associated-press-style-changes-explained.html  It’s a long read, but worth it.

What really gets me clenching my jaws is the ‘new fad’ that turns all-caps acronyms into initial-cap pretend-words. They look like real words in some language you should be able to say out loud, if only you knew the secret enunciation code. The all-caps format was an obvious guide that you probably couldn’t speak this jumble in one sound or even three so you’d spell it all.


DaveSchmidt

joanne said:

Who else is aware of the hyphen wars??

I am. I can't get too exercised about it, though. I'd never hyphenate "law enforcement officer," "real estate agent" or "high school senior," for three common examples -- but if others did, I wouldn't think anything less of them. (Not like I would if they put a hyphen after an -ly adverb.)

Apparently in recent months there have been not-so-secret (sorry, not so secret) changes to The Grammar Rules!

Ahem. "Grammar Rules" sounds awfully authoritative for a softcover style guide with a spiral binder.

What really gets me clenching my jaws is the ‘new fad’ that turns all-caps acronyms into initial-cap pretend-words. They look like real words in some language you should be able to say out loud, if only you
knew the secret enunciation code. The all-caps format was an obvious guide that you probably couldn’t speak this jumble in one sound or even three so you’d spell it all.

Now you've done it. Acronyms are by definition pronounced as words. My eyes much prefer the gentle typography of Nafta to NAFTA, the dulcet Concacaf to CONCACAF.

Blue pencils at 20 paces, the next time we're in the same hemisphere. Be there.


joanne

I so want to clink coffee mugs with you, sir! You’ve made me chuckle aloud!

Not all acronyms can be pronounced as a word: RSPCA, NBA, RACQ, NRMA. And these look simply horrible if written Rspca, etc. Further, RSPCA kinda loses meaning as ‘Rspca’. 

Hey - remember that beautiful clear light non-repro blue?? Happy sigh. Now I feel old!


DaveSchmidt

joanne said:

Not all acronyms can be pronounced as a word: RSPCA, NBA, RACQ, NRMA. And these look simply horrible if written Rspca, etc. Further, RSPCA kinda loses meaning as ‘Rspca’. 

Over here (“here” meaning in my head), we call those initialisms, distinct from acronyms. They remain all caps.

But I know what you mean. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union, is known as AFSCME, pronounced AF-smee. The word Afscme doesn’t exactly help my case.


DaveSchmidt

joanne said:

Hey - remember that beautiful clear light non-repro blue?? Happy sigh. Now I feel old!

Blue pencils, pica poles, photo wheels and glue sticks. Who could ask for anything more?


marksierra

DaveSchmidt said:

joanne said:

Hey - remember that beautiful clear light non-repro blue?? Happy sigh. Now I feel old!

Blue pencils, pica poles, photo wheels and glue sticks. Who could ask for anything more?

 Forget glue sticks.

Give me  Clag - the Aussie-made glue!


joanne

marksierra said:

DaveSchmidt said:

joanne said:

Hey - remember that beautiful clear light non-repro blue?? Happy sigh. Now I feel old!

Blue pencils, pica poles, photo wheels and glue sticks. Who could ask for anything more?

 Forget glue sticks.

Give me  Clag - the Aussie-made glue!

 I used the non-repro blue Texta that also worked on Letraset - that’s truly dropping in some old jargon! smile There was a matching rusty red that Classifieds used, but that luminous blue is one of my favourite colours. 

Furiously tapping on a screen keyboard minutes away from deadline just isn’t as exciting as cutting correx on the stone. 


joanne

When I posted my plea for more care in political posts, this morning (my time), I had no idea the article below had been published. 

Written by a person I think I'd like to meet. 

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/10/08/proofreading-the-president/


joanne

Beautiful essay on the magic of language

https://thewalrus.ca/why-language-is-cool/ 

I glance through Arts & Literature Daily a couple of times a week, just to see what’s new in essays and longer-form publishing. Really worth checking in, if you don’t know it. Lots of items escaping their paywalls.

https://www.aldaily.com/


joanne

I think I might turn this thread into a language/grammar blog cheese

Just found an article on language use/updates to dictionaries. Lots of it resonates; I'm fairly sure there are other MOL posters who'll also agree

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/media/2019/10/i-move-commas-around-living-and-i-now-realise-there-s-no-such-thing 


mtierney

DaveSchmidt said:

Blue pencils, pica poles, photo wheels and glue sticks. Who could ask for anything more?

 Back in my day, we had a glue pot and brush on every desk. Someone from the print shop would come around with a huge can of glue to refill the pots. The news room always had a heady aroma! When editing stories, cut and paste really was cut and paste.


mjc

joanne, thanks for the New Statesman link.  i really enjoyed the article. : )


joanne

I really love how language changes - I fell in love with OED while at school, and bought the ‘new’2 vol set at student discount price, I think, when I was at uni. I proofread a couple of letters (C,D & M) of the Macquarie Australian Dictionary in the early 90s.

As an old indexer and librarian, as well as editor/proofreader, and the child of non-English speakers, I’ve always found the way we communicate - and the way we keep order in communicating - intriguing. Ideas and emotions complicate ‘pure’ information, yet in every language we manage to get others to understand us. Such a miracle!

Yesterday I read a lovely article on the way we name colours; on how we learn to see colours and how each language recognises colours. Want the link?


mjc

of course, if it's convenient -


Morganna

DaveSchmidt said:

Blue pencils, pica poles, photo wheels and glue sticks. Who could ask for anything more?

 When you said photo wheel my mind went to one of my favorite childhood possessions. Finally remembered it was called a Viewmaster. 


joanne

I didn't mark up on that kind of tech (photo wheels), but did on the cello colour separations cheese Now, that was 'fun' if even one worked slightly out of register in a print run! Especially if it was full colour!

One job for an Annual Report, I wasn't given captions or key numbers, or anything to identify the pix appearing mid-text for the timber products company. So this strange photo of large finished wooden beams amid a forest scene with a river and some fallen logs appeared randomly but apparently in context, in glorious colour. I had questioned 'what is this?' But no-one bothered to fix it. After publication we find out two negatives had stuck together; neither should've been in that spot. Sigh. Guess we've all got stories like that.




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