Anal Retentive

Subject: Anal Retentive
From: Suzanne Townsend <ac158 -at- CHEBUCTO -dot- NS -dot- CA>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 17:24:22 -0400

Re: Anal Retentive

Gina Caldanaro wrote:
> For sale: One pristine white 100% cotton T-shirt (never
> worn). On the front it says: "Does anal retentive have a
> hyphen?" (Seriously, I do have this T-shirt)

I saw this t-shirt in a catalog many years ago. I loved it so
much I used it for a poster at an EAC (Editors' Association of
Canada) booth at a book fair. It read:

Is " anal retentive" hyphenated?

If you don't know ...
Ask an editor!

Only when used as an adjective!

Hope *this* helps --

With thanks to all for this very funny thread,

Suzanne Townsend <ac158 -at- chebucto -dot- ns -dot- ca>

P.S. By the way, for anyone who hasn't had enough yet: Does
anyone know if is it true, as the following quote state, that
"email" is an established convention? What is the source

-------- Begin Quote --------
-- from Philip Golabuk's "Cool Writing Tip Of The Day"
"... I received a suggestion from Guy Haas that this week's
Free Cool Writing Tip (FCWT) address the question of
compounds, words elided to make new ones, coinages
legitimized by usage. Guy's example was email,' a
contraction from electronic mail,' and other examples
abound. Usage has established email' rather than, say,
e-mail,' or worse, e mail,' so there isn't a problem.
"In summary: Consult the dictionary for a ruling on
established usage. Beyond this, stay with closed compounds
(and closed composite, prefixed words, e.g., cooperate')
unless the closure creates a visual/phonetic misread, e.g.,
antiintellectual.' (The hyphen here would put an end to the
problem, and more quickly than the European diacritical'
solution of putting an umlaut over the second instance of
the vowel.) Work as much as possible with the tendency
toward closed composites, e.g., email' rather than
e-mail,' and don't be afraid to pioneer a little. Open
compounds acting as adjectives need hyphenation if they show
up before the noun they modify, no hyphenation if after."
-------- End Quote --------

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