Spelling conventions

Lord knows English is an amalgam of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants spelling system that seems designed, at first blush, to merely cause excessive trauma and hair loss among those trying to memorize spelling words such as elementary school students, second language learners, and American university students.

This article talks about the loss of hyphenation in the most recent version of the OED (yay! OED! How I love and long for it!).  It cites such words as:

hobby horse, ice cream, pin money, pot belly, bumblebee, chickpea, and crybaby, among others.

The blame for the loss of our horizontal friend is put on the shoulders of a public who is unaware and unsure of the use of hyphenation as well as the multi-medic realms such as the Internet that have caused a greater informality in the use of conventional spelling.  To which I say: balderdash, or, balder-dash, or even just balder -. 

To blame the use of such absurdities as C U, or LOL or brb on the Internet is appropriate as is partial blame for the egregious lack of ability to string together coherent sentences to form one well-written whole (although I also blame the educational system and the inherent laziness of people altogether for that) and please do not even get me started on the apparent virulent strain of the random comma or apostrophe that has appeared in recent times.  But, as far back as I can remember, back to the days of my intrepid youth and the memorization of spelling words, I do not ever, EVER recall seeing bumble-bee or ice-cream as a hyphenated word. Do you?  I know I have seen words such as every-day in books from the turn of the 20th century and I have no reason to doubt the OED knows of what it speaks when it says that these words were once hyphenated but since I existed long before the age of the Internet or text messaging, it seems a bit nonsensical to blame those particular losses on the information era.

Oh-well. What-do-I-know?


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