Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Difference a Hyphen Makes

We found this headline in today's paper:

Arrest in student-porn actress' death
We're not porn conoisseurs, but we do not believe there is such a thing "student" porn. There are student teachers, yes. And there is amateur porn as well as professional porn. But student porn? We don't think so. Yet, this is what the hyphen indicates. When two words are linked by a hyphen, they modify the noun that follows. In this case, they imply she was an actress in student pornography.

The punctuation mark the editors should have used was the slash. She was both a student and a porn actress. A student/porn actress, if you will.

What a sad story.

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