Fear not, killjoys are as easy to fight off as a baby-eating ...

Ideas

WORDS IN THE HAND: READY-TO-EAT

Fear not, killjoys are as easy to fight off as a baby-eating marrow

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

Hyphens are important. In 1962, America’s first interplanetary probe, Mariner 1, exploded on takeoff, costing Nasa $80m. All because someone left out a hyphen when coding the speed and trajectory of the vessel. 

Arthur C Clarke called it “the most expensive hyphen in history”.

Moving on to more mundane matters, leave out the hyphen between “woman” and “eating” and you have a woman eating lettuce, a far less scary and exotic concept than a woman-eating lettuce. That idea – the woman-eating lettuce – belongs in some horror movie where the salad turns rogue and bloodthirsty...

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