Re: "Lower right-hand corner" Yuck!

Subject: Re: "Lower right-hand corner" Yuck!
From: Susan Stewart <susan -at- AVALANCHE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 14:03:44 -0600

Beth Volbach said:
> IF it was correct to say "lower right-hand corner," you're right about
> that hyphen. But it's not. I just finished deleting a bunch of
> "-hand"s from some documents that were written, obviously, before I
> started working here.

There's too much blood in my caffeine stream this morning, so my
thought process is sluggish. Bear with me.

At first I thought Beth was objecting to the hyphen. How odd. I tried
to find a reference to support my feeling that hyphenating right-hand
is the thing to do. It took a few minutes to remember where "R" came
in the alphabet but, sure enough, the dictionary (and The Elements of
Style, when I got around to checking it) showed right-hand with a

I was feeling pretty smug when I read the message again and it occurred
to me that Beth was objecting to the "-hand" part. Back to Strunk &
White and the dictionary. Both use examples that are analagous to
"lower right-hand corner." The Elements of Style, for example, says,
"Keep right-hand and left-hand margins roughly the same width."

I turn to S&W and the dictionary for guidance fairly frequently. If
they're not solid points of reference -- if I'm behind the times --
I'd like to know. So -- who says the "-hand" construction is not


Susan P.S. Stewart
Manager, Product Documentation
Avalanche Development Co.
Boulder, CO

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