GrammarPhile Blog

Yashmyn Jackson

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Comma Drama, Hyper-Hyphenation, and Smelling Salts

Posted by Yashmyn Jackson   Aug 9, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Brenda, Raj, Tom, and Vickie were still reveling in the success of their dusting caps ad campaign. No, the dusting caps hadn’t been the blockbuster success that the executives at Awesome Products, Inc., had thought they would be. (How could the consumer research department have known that bonnets that were topped with ostrich feathers and marketed primarily to tall men interested in easing their spouses’ dusting chores, wouldn’t sell like hotcakes?) But the quartet’s grammatically correct marketing slogan had been a smash hit with the industry associations that presented awards for excellence in advertising.

As a reward, their supervisor, Noelle, handed Tom a gift certificate to share with the group, just before dashing into a meeting concerning the company’s newest product to be launched: fluorescent smelling salts.

The four of them were sitting in the conference room. Tom passed the certificate to Raj, who read it then handed it to Vickie, who noted the web address then passed the certificate to Brenda. It read, “As a reward for your excellent service, please enjoy an early-bird special at this darling family-owned restaurant that just opened at First and Main. That should give you plenty of time to get to the 1 p.m. debriefing meeting on smelling salts.”

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Topics: hyphenation, hyphen

Comma Drama, Hyper-Hyphenation, and Dusting Caps

Posted by Yashmyn Jackson   Jul 5, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Brenda, Raj, Tom, and Vickie, who formed the junior sales-and-marketing team at the start-up Awesome Products, Inc., were brainstorming email content with which to advertise their remarkable new dusting cap. Brenda had a sudden flash of inspiration, grabbed the keyboard of the room’s computer, and excitedly started typing. The others looked up at the large monitor that hung along one wall of the room as words quickly appeared there.

“‘Incredibly,’” Tom started reading aloud right away, “‘tall people must duck when walking through doorways.’”

He frowned at Brenda, who had stopped typing. “First of all, why do you think it’s incredible that tall people have to duck? Second, why do you think all tall people have to duck, anyway? I’m tall, and I don’t have to duck when I walk through doorways.”

“That’s not what she typed,” interjected Vickie, who secretly regarded Tom’s height as average. She continued, “Brenda typed, ‘Incredibly tall people must duck when walking through doorways.’”

Not noticing Brenda nodding, Tom threw a gentle smile at Vickie. “You forgot to pause after ‘Incredibly.’ You see, there’s no hyphen connecting ‘Incredibly’ and ‘tall.’ So you don’t read them together.”

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Topics: hyphenation, hyphen, Comma

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