Tuesday, December 09, 2008

a period of hyphenation

Erika tagged me for a meme. I think I've gotten a tag before, but I've never actually done one. Giving it a shot:

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor.

The book closest to me (right by my keyboard, actually) is the new version of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, with illustrations by Maira Kalman (it's signed, no less! and it was a gift!)

Page 56 has a funky Kalman illustration, captioned "What a wonderful show!" and depicting very colorful people doing things like sleeping, sitting (wearing a tutu), wielding a watering can, and playing the violin. So I went to page 57 for the lines:

but a dictionary is more reliable. The steady evolution of the language seems to favor union: two words eventually become one, usually after a period of hyphenation.

bed chamber bed-chamber bedchamber
Wild life wild-life wildlife
Bell boy bell-boy bellboy

(anyone else hearing "Quadrophenia" right about now?)

Tag: Carly, Vicki, Reb, MacGregor, Daniel


Carly said...

wow, here's what i got:

A man answered and said that he would call back. When he did he asked who had referred her.

from joan didion, play it as it lays

MacGregor Rucker said...

Stump, red-faced, could only stare at her. "If you can know shit like that, you ought to tie a rag around your head and start telling fortunes"

from Celebration, by Harry Crews

esk said...

Interesting (as the case with most meme!). The evolution of the hyphen? LOL

Thanks for posting :-)