bad-hair day OR bad hair-day?

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Jan 25 18:29:53 UTC 2000

In a message dated 1/25/2000 1:13:17 PM, P2052 at AOL.COM writes:

<<  ... since there is no such phenomenon as "hair
day," the adjective "bad," is modifying "hair" (at least in the original
description), not "day."
Referring to a "bad hair-day," is tantamount to referring to the phrase from
the children's tv program as, "Howdy Doody-Time."
                                    P-A-T >>

1. The "Howdy" of "Howdy-Doody" is not an adjective, so the stress rules are
different. A better example would be to compare "horrid-toupee day"
(HORrid-touPEE day) with "horrid toupee-day" (horrid-TOUPEE day).

2. I can think of no way in which it makes any meaningful linguistic sense to
say that there "no such phenomenon as 'hair day'." One can quite
grammatically (and meaningfully) utter such sentences as:

"What kind of a hair-day did you have today?"

"This was a really weird hair-day for me: it started out fine, but ended with
my toupee blowing off into the river"

"As hair-days go, this one was just OK."

"For Lou, rarely did a hair-day go well."

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