PDA

View Full Version : to hyphen or to not??



gp101
10-17-2006, 01:39 AM
I'm pretty sure the hyphen below is properly used:


"....the jar broke, resulting in a pissed-off grocer..."


yet, a tiny voice in my head keeps egging me on to remove the hyphen and leave "pissed off" as two unconnected words. But that just doesn't look right if "pissed off" is to be used as a modifier as in my example, right? Right...?

He pissed off the grocer.

I'm pissed-off.

The pissed-off grocer.

Correct? Deal or no deal?

isn't it the same principle as in:

"...resulting in a thumb-sucking juvenile..."


Please advise so I can ignore the voices. Thank you.

September skies
10-17-2006, 01:50 AM
it's correct.

The pissed-off grocer

you hyphen when the two words are needed together to make sense before a noun.
if you were to drop off "Pissed" and used "the off grocer" that would not make sense. So, pissed-off must be hyphenated.

newmod
10-17-2006, 10:28 PM
I´ve never seen pissed off spelt with a hyphen in Britain/Ireland. I´d personally spell it without. FWIW

Bufty
10-17-2006, 11:46 PM
I agree with September and gp101.

Something like 'I yelled at him and he pissed off' is totally different.


it's correct.

The pissed-off grocer

you hyphen when the two words are needed together to make sense before a noun.
if you were to drop off "Pissed" and used "the off grocer" that would not make sense. So, pissed-off must be hyphenated.

FloVoyager
10-17-2006, 11:54 PM
I haven't looked it up, but off the top of my head I'd say leave out the hyphen. It just doesn't look right to my eye hyphenated.

Edited to add: Okay, I got curious, so I looked it up. The Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk & White both say the hyphen is not necessary in the example above, but not incorrect. Try reading the sentence aloud and see what works best.

Bufty
10-18-2006, 12:41 AM
That's not my interpretation of Strunk & White's comments on the hyphen - indeed I read them as quite the opposite. When gp's phrase is read aloud it may sound okay, but for reading I think the hyphen is needed. It seems a compound adjective to me.


I haven't looked it up, but off the top of my head I'd say leave out the hyphen. It just doesn't look right to my eye hyphenated.

Edited to add: Okay, I got curious, so I looked it up. The Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk & White both say the hyphen is not necessary in the example above, but not incorrect. Try reading the sentence aloud and see what works best.

Sandi LeFaucheur
10-18-2006, 01:36 AM
It needs the hyphen before the noun "pissed-off grocer", but not in this sentence "he pissed off the grocer".