Saturday, September 22, 2007

Email is killing the hyphen

The hyphen is slowly disappearing, a victim of increasingly high-speed emailing that leaves little time for additional keystrokes. In the most recent edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, about 16,000 compound words that once took hyphens have lost them, including fig leaf, leapfrog, pot belly and test tube, reports Finlo Rohrer for the BBC. The editor of the Shorter OED says the dictionary’s changes follow real-world usage.