Archive | April, 2013

Drawing parallels

      If you studied geometry before taking up journalism, you know the definition of parallel: “Being an equal distance apart everywhere,” as the Free Online Dictionary puts it. The word applies to grammar, too, though the same source’s definition is a bigger mouthful: “Having identical or equivalent syntactic constructions in corresponding clauses or phrases.” […]

Hyphens and compounds

Think of a hyphen as mini-conjunction — that is, something that joins words together. In noun phrases like singer-songwriter and actor-director, the hyphen joins two nouns of equal weight, indicating that the person in question is both. In compound adjectives, one of the hyphenated words modifies, or describes, the other. Together, the two modify the noun. For example, […]