We've got news for you.

Register on Sunday Times at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Longforgotten email? Uncalledfor behaviour? Nothing a hyphen ...



Longforgotten email? Uncalledfor behaviour? Nothing a hyphen can’t fix

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

“I’m going to go through this with a fine-toothed comb,” my supervisor e-mailed me about my long-overdue philosophy thesis.

“Great,” I replied, at the same time feeling somewhat floored at the expanse of self-ignorance his words revealed to me. 

Never having seen the phrase in print before (or maybe I had but just didn’t absorb it), I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have always thought the idiom for examining something closely was looking over it with “a fine toothcomb” – as in a particularly excellent device for getting tiny particles off one’s teeth...

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

Sunday Times Daily

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article