Another NPR Appearance!

I have been asked to return to NPR! I will be making my first appearance since my interview in July!

The interview will take place tomorrow, Monday, September 23, 2007, around 7:40 AM. It’s for a new program called the Bryant Park Project. It’s a brand new show that is in previews right now. Check it out here.

Tomorrow’s show is about the Oxford English Dictionary’s decision to remove hyphens from several words.

Small object of grammatical desire

It’s small. It’s flat. It’s black. And according to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, its numbers are shrinking. Welcome to the world of the hyphen.

Having been around since at least the birth of printing, the hyphen is apparently enjoying a difficult time at the moment.

The sixth edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has knocked the hyphens out of 16,000 words, many of them two-word compound nouns. Fig-leaf is now fig leaf, pot-belly is now pot belly, pigeon-hole has finally achieved one word status as pigeonhole and leap-frog is feeling whole again as leapfrog.

The blame, as is so often the case, has been put at least in part on electronic communication. In our time-poor lifestyles, dominated by the dashed-off [or should that be dashed off or dashedoff] e-mail, we no longer have time to reach over to the hyphen key.

Read the full story here.

What’s my opinion?

Tune in to find out! I think the show is only airing in New York, but you can listen online at


3 responses to “Another NPR Appearance!

  1. Monday, the 24th of September?

  2. Dear Kate,

    I love this topic. However, the hyphens have not disappeared; they have migrated into the surnames of progressive Americans.

    Rona S-F

  3. Nice observation by Rona! By the way, Kate, have you noticed that there’s a hyphen missing in the subtitle of your blog? I’m sure you’ll notice it: “one well placed comma”. The comma may be well, but who knows about the hyphen…

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