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From this article:

The sixth edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has knocked the hyphens out of 16,000 words, many of them two-word compound nouns. Fig-leaf is now fig leaf, pot-belly is now pot belly, pigeon-hole has finally achieved one word status as pigeonhole and leap-frog is feeling whole again as leapfrog.

The blame, as is so often the case, has been put at least in part on electronic communication. In our time-poor lifestyles, dominated by the dashed-off [or should that be dashed off or dashedoff] e-mail, we no longer have time to reach over to the hyphen key.

Not the most interesting story, but I am including it for two reasons.  First, I'm always excited when grammar makes the news.  Second, I am becoming increasingly fixated on documenting the ways in which my education has already begun to become obsolete.  (You may remember my struggle to cope with Pluto losing its planet status and, later, my indignant reaction to the news that Maryland had appointed a state gem, drink, and team sport.)

Anyway, I'm proposing a new word: from now on, whenever a topic, subject, or principle gets changed dramatically from when we were kids, we will refer to it as that thing getting "Plutoed," as in, "Man, hyphens just got totally Plutoed today."

I realize it's kind of ironic that the way I'm coping with too many changes and innovations is by inventing a new word myself, but what kind of logic do you expect from a batty old coot who is old enough to remember when hyphens roamed the Earth and Pluto was a planet?


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fig-leaf was hyphenated? god that looks so funny to me


Great coinage idea!

I have this knee-jerk compulsion that grew out of believing almost every story ever sent to me in spam, so just as I now check Snopes for urban myths, I check the Urban Dictionary for new terms I think I might have invented or have heard and am clueless about. Here's "Pluto":


You should add yours, as none of the current entries quite capture the essence of what you're expressing. Also, yours would be the first to be grammatically correct.


Oh that is hilarious. My son (4 at the time) was devastated by Pluto's bump down the food chain. He had a Pluto birthday party. (Yes, I had to make a "Pluto" cake...not as easy as it sounds.)

Oh, the memories of Pluto, hyphens, 90210, and Guess jeans. sigh.

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