3 Jun 2011

Hyphens are your friend

Submitted by Karl Hagen
This morning's google news served up a nice crash blossom, courtesy of the Times Daily: "Racist language bill passes" When I first saw the headline, I thought it was an editorial inveighing against some bill about language that happened to be racist, rather than a bill about racist language, which, on reading the article, I find to be the intended interpretation. In speech, there's no ambiguity, as the stressed syllable in language gets demoted to secondary stress in the racist-language bill interpretation. In writing, though, hyphens are your friend. Original article here.


Yeah I agree. This gets to be even more confusing in writing when sarcasm is involved.