shesgottaread (shesgottaread) wrote,
shesgottaread
shesgottaread

Beta-reading, compound words and commas

Recently I've been seeing more and more omission of the hyphen in compound words. So what is a beta to do?

I asked about it during the Beta panel at this year's Femslash Con, and learned that this trend is encouraged, if not insisted on, by at least one publisher. In discussions with one of my co-workers--see? That looks so much better than coworkers--even some of the folks at my employer have been on a campaign to either "save the hyphen" or "eradicate the hyphen", depending on how you want to look at it. As if the hyphen were an endangered species and only so many exist in the universe. What's next? The apostrophe? We already have enough problems with apostrophe misuse in the world. LOL

What would you do? Leave "pale blue eyes" as is, or put the hyphen in, ala "pale-blue eyes"? Is it "ex husband", "exhusband" or "ex-husband"? If I'm editing your story and I add the hyphen into your text, am I making work for both of us by my insistence on preserving this endangered species: I insert it, and then you have to reject the change?

And yes, I am aware that I sometimes have a problem with comma-overuse. Hopefully I will have curtailed that tendency a bit in this post. But really, if Andy's described as that "Chanel-attired endearing doe-eyed hooker"--prompt anyone?--I want commas there!

Thanks for your attention, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. It will help me improve as I beta some really great stories. :-)
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