[LMB] punctuation

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Tue Jul 23 18:57:59 BST 2019


Pat: (FIlk reference) "Does anal-retentive have a hyphen, or not?...."

John: Depends if it's an adjective or a noun. He is an anal retentive, but
that anal-retentive man.

However, one could well argue that as an adjective it should take the form
anally retentive, and the adjectival hyphen is not used when the first
element ends -ly because it is not used when adverbs are involved (as "that
sneakily deceptive stretch of road").

If metre / melody are enforcing the simple 'anal retentive' form though,
and it's adjectival, pop that hyphen right in.

-- 
John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

Associate Member & Director of Studies in English, Hughes Hall, Cambridge
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