Peekaboo boo-boo

If you don’t know when to use a hyphen, perhaps you shouldn’t use a hyphen. One misplaced hyphen might be overlooked by readers, but three misused characters? You’ll look like an illiterate. Or a writer for the Yahoo! front page:

fp peek-a-boo

It’s bad enough that the writer didn’t bother to check the spelling of peekaboo (it has no hyphens); the writer compounded the boo-boo by hyphenating the adjective and the noun it modifies. It’s like putting a hyphen in “red-sweater” or “dumb-writer.”

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