Where Oh Where Has My Hyphen Gone?

In 2002, I strived to be the perfect marketing maven for a little relocation company here in SoCal. This entailed not only working for a witch (I swear her skin was green!), but keeping an eye out for spelling, grammar and punctuation. So, when called upon to request e-mails from clients and vendors, I consulted the Merriam-Webster dictionary for the proper spelling of e-mail.

You probably already know what I found… that e-mail should be spelled with a hyphen. Hence, every time I wrote e-mail, it had the hyphen in it.

Naturally, the hyphen wasn’t in favor from the start. I think it’s because the simple act of pausing to place a dash between words can be too much in the heat of typing. Everywhere I looked I saw no dash. And yet, I fought it.

“M-W says there is a hyphen! Hyphen it is!”

My witch… manager… dropped her use of the hyphen as well, and I was plunged into the lonely world of hyphenism. Yes, I made this word up to convey how it felt.

Since 2002, I’ve made it a point to get that damned hyphen in there no matter what. As a magazine editor, I corrected my freelancers and combed each issue for hyphens (among other more important things). Yet, as much as I strived to be the perfect, most righteous hyphenator of all time, I lost the battle.

This year, 2010, was one that saw many changes in my world, including my use of a hyphen in e-mail. Yes, you know where  I am going with this.

I now spell it email instead of e-mail. It’s like waving a white flag. But have I put my hyphen between my legs? Taken my hyphen home? Sent the hyphen packing? Nope. I’ll continue to put that hyphen into e-mail and anywhere else I deem fit. This won’t go down without-a-fight.


2 thoughts on “Where Oh Where Has My Hyphen Gone?

  1. I’m a big fan of the em dash.

    This reminds me that I no longer use “etc.” I used to use it all the time, but then one or two people complained about it and I dropped it altogether.

    1. Love the em dash! One of my favorites as well. As for etc., I tend to spell it out. Et cetera. It seems weird to use the abbreviation of this. How about et al? LOL!

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