Oh Heck! Another Quirky Writing Error
I recently went to a street fair in Summerville, South Carolina, and amused myself by taking pictures of people and signs.
I was a bit hungry and drooled over the deep-fried Oreos, the deep-fried mushrooms, and the hand-dipped corn dogs, but I resisted their high-calorie goodness. (Note the correct hyphen use on these popular street-fair snacks. I wrote about hyphens in “Deep-Fried Hyphens.”)
I considered having a cool drink to quench my thirst. I checked the signs and found that I could have
Hmmm. It got me wondering about hyphen use again. Which of these drinks is listed correctly? Should it be fresh squeezed lemonade or should it be freshly squeezed lemonade? And do either of these need a hyphen? The answers to these questions have to do with adjectives and adverbs.
Adjectives modify or describe nouns. Multiple-word descriptors before a noun require a hyphen to clarify meaning.
Adverbs with -ly endings modify verbs and do not get hyphens.
But now, here come the adverbs. Adverbs do not follow the same add-a-hyphen rule, primarily because the adverb makes the meaning of the phrase clear without any help from a hyphen, thank you very much.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice.
The juice has recently been squeezed from the oranges. Freshly modifies squeezed (past participle), telling us when the juice was squeezed.
But wait, in this next example, fresh modifies orange juice, a noun, making its use okay as well.
- Fresh, squeezed orange juice.
In this case, fresh modifies orange juice (fresh orange juice) making its use without a hyphen okay. It is fresh juice, and it is squeezed juice. A comma makes it clearer.
Here are examples of -ly adverbs correctly written without a hyphen.
** recently discovered secret
** freshly baked bread
** freshly brewed tea
** freshly pieced quilts
** newly discovered ores
** freshly picked veggies
** brightly lit sign
** highly paid officer
Now, just to confuse things, you use hyphens with some adverbs, (much-deserved vacation, well-known author), but I’ll write more about this in another post.
If you want to read more about orange juice, you can read this article: Freshly Squeezed: The Truth about Orange Juice in Boxes.
And you might want to try this recipe for Fresh Squeezed Lemonade.
Space invaders would probably get all of these hyphens mixed up, but wait, they can try the Alien Sippers: fresh lemonade that happens to be from squeezed lemons.
But who worries about hyphens on a hot day at a street fair while drinking cool lemonade or orange juice. Well, me. Obviously.
Your turn: What quirky errors do you find in writing? Which ones annoy you the most?
Janice Hall Heck is a retired educator, blogger, wannabe photographer, and now
nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ.