Mighty Red Pen

May 7, 2009

A matter of style

Here’s a twofer from The New York Times:

From Philip B. Corbett, “Hyphens: Too Many or Too Few,” a quick refresher course on the judicious use of our friend the hyphen:

I shy away from discussions of hyphens. It’s treacherous terrain, where the rules are murky but the opinions strongly held. The risks of error are high, the rewards for success relatively low.

Still, I’ve noticed a few cases recently where we’ve had too many or too few. We should push to get even the little things right.

From Clark Hoyt, “Consistent, Sensitive, and Weird,” a exploration of how The Times makes style guide changes:

At The Times, a lot of consideration goes into usage issues, and they are often more complicated than they seem at first blush. Why not just call Seals SEALs? Well, what about Yahoo, which wants an exclamation point after its name? What about a rock group with a name containing an obscenity?

Though some of its rules seem eccentric or charmingly old-fashioned, like calling people Mr., Ms. and Dr., The Times does change, if usually slowly.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: