I hate hypens

When I’m president, I’m going to outlaw hyphens, or at least seriously curtail their use. I imagine hyphens have their history in early printing with saving paper: if you can put half a word on a line then over the course of an article, you’ll save a few lines and therefore a bunch of paper. Surely you wouldn’t use that extra space to place a larger ad, no siree bob.

You see this mostly in magazines and newspapers, though I see it in books sometimes too. Newspapers and magazines have very skinny columns so there is more word breaking required whereas a book you can spread the extra space across many words. I imagine in publishing there are terms for all this. Kerning is probably not one of them. Neither is ‘ihatehyphens’.

But what about the people, you know, us humans. Let’s take the words ‘economist’ and ‘economics’ for example. Both common use words but they read completely differently based on the last 2 letters of the word. If these words were hyphenated, those last two letters would end up on the next line. So you’d have a 50-50 chance (depending on the context I suppose) to get the word right the first time, and if you were wrong, you’d read the next line realize you got it wrong, and it would ruin your train of thought reading the sentence. At least it does for me. So I get a lower quality of reading from the newspaper because they want to save a tiny bit of paper which, lets face it, they’re not really saving anyway.

It’s just another example of cases where people have forgotten that the tool exists to aid the human and not the other way around. Why do people go out of their way to make things harder for no good reason.

If there were good reason, like there was when mass printing was first invented, I can see it, but nowadays, there’s really no justification for annoying the human, because nothing substantial is gained. They’re just annoying.

I hate hyphens.

Leave a Reply