Imagine how daunting it was to go through the awkward high school years with this as my competition:
I was so relieved when I read an interview with Cindy in which she said, “Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford in the morning.”
Take that, High School Boyfriend!
Well, if Cindy is brave enough to admit that she’s not as perfect as people think she is, then I guess I can do the same. You see, as you can probably imagine, I am the grammar go-to gal on campus. I receive daily phone calls requesting grammar advice from my colleagues. And, sometimes I do know the answer off the top of my head. My secret shame is that often I will Google their questions. Of course, I don’t tell anyone this. I like people to think I’m perfect.
One of the questions I am rarely confident about answering is when I’m asked if two words should be hyphenated, like should it be long legged or long-legged? But, here’s the good news: my grammar gurus don’t always know either. For example, Grammar Girl wrote, “The safest thing to do when you're unsure about hyphenating is to look the words up in a dictionary.” Diane Hacker wrote, “The dictionary will tell you whether to treat a compound word as a hyphenated compound, as one word, or as two words. If the compound word is not in the dictionary, then treat it as two words.”
So, yes, double check with the dictionary, but here are some rules that may help when you are writing in the jungle and have forgotten your dictionary and can’t get Wi-Fi:
· Use a hyphen when two or more words work together to describe a noun.
(The way sexy models behave)
Sexy model behavior
(When being good is deemed sexy)
· Use a hyphen between compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine.
· Use a hyphen with the prefixes self-, ex-, and all-.
My ex-boyfriend’s all-consuming obsession with Cindy Crawford did not boost my self-esteem.
If only I were a Pisces from Illinois!