[Ads-l] Merely a peeve

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 26 01:39:40 UTC 2015

"... answering the _call-to-arms_."

I still recall my second-grade teacher, Sister Claire Marie, kicking my
metaphorical ass for not knowing intuitively that "often" can't be
hyphenated and that, even if it could be, it wouldn't be hyphenated as
"of-ten." I assume that the hyphenation, _oft-en_, is prescriptively
proscribed because it, too, implies that the word is pronounced "of[t]en,"
and "that's too much sugar for a dime!"  to quote one of my mother's many
weird sayings.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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