The power of the hyphen. You know, that little punctuation symbol of connectivity. We see it often when connecting a collection of words to make one noun, such as sister-in-law. I wrote about my distaste for them on occasions in this blog, such as here, where I talk about the evolution of compound words.
It is most used in error when it is unknowingly left out and there is no rule to its use.
Here are some examples of why they are important:
1. Susan decided to resign her employment contract.
Susan decided to re-sign her employment contract.
2. Jacob recovered the chair and made it look new.
Jacob re-covered the chair and made it look new.
3. We were told a story about a man eating shark.
We were told a story about a man-eating shark.
4. The battalion was made up of six foot soldiers.
The battalion was made up of six-foot soldiers.
5. The patient suffered from disease causing poor nutrition.
The patient suffered from disease-causing poor nutrition.
6. Anna returned the stolen vehicle report.
Anna returned the stolen-vehicle report.
7. I must repress that dress.
I must re-press that dress.
8. We found ourselves in a dirty movie theater.
We found ourselves in a dirty-movie theater.
My thanks to the Society of Professional Journalist for bringing these little buggers again to my attention this week in their news feed.