Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Joy of the Hyphen.

A typical, yet probably paraphrased conversation between me and Boyfriend (yes, I know that's not grammatically correct, but I have a deal worked out with E.B. White) over the miraculous and disturbing form of communication known as BBM:

HYUG: wonderface

BF: puppylunch

HYUG: kittentits

BF: sharkrevolver

HYUG: loveyou

BF: treeladder

HYUG: ...

This is the joy of smashing words together to form, bigger, better, badasser words. But you want to be a little more proper you say? Take it out of the world of texting and into the more supremely sophisticated world of blogging? Well, I have the ticket for you! It's called hyphenating. Haven't heard of it? Unsurprising, since most people think the term Oxford Comma from the Vampire Weekend song is some charming hipster invention.

Strunk and White's definitive volume is what you should be hitting up if you're actually curious about all this phenomenon of what governs your language. I read it in 11th grade and promptly forgot the names of everything I read, but I'm relatively sure it sure governs this here language of mine own. Elements of Style doesn't actually mention hyphens because THAT'S HOW BADASS THEY ARE. Or self-explanatory. Because they basically mean making your own words.

You heard me right: making words up is totally allowed. It's usually called slang, but I'm talking about something more awesome than that. Hyphenating is combining words in varied multiples to created what is essentially a brand new word. Because even though it's two words they become one in a magical way that only the mindfuck of the English language can provide. It might eventually become contrived and overused, aka slang, but for a brief, shining moment you can essentially be a syntactical GOD. Let's get down to some creatin'.

The best hyphenated words are always going to be those that make the least sense. This is often displayed by the use of the word -ass in colloquial language. Broke-ass, for instance. But the hyphened suffix -ass is SO passe, so let's choose another part of the anatomy...oh, you dirty dirty minded little love cats. Fine, let's mix it up though.

Cupcake-balls. Cinnamon-chin. Cat-cheek. Snorkel-elbow. Clorox-tits. Sparkle-mustache. Banana-toes. 

And then the combinations are endless. Noun and non. Adjective and noun. Verb and noun. Adjective and verb. The permutation on that must be insane, especially because, and here's the best part, YOU CAN COMBINE AS MANY WORDS AS YOU WANT. That's right, this entire article could be one word. I have the power to do that.

Cat-cheek-snuggle-pup. Snorkel-elbow-butter-sandwich. Sparkle-mustache-bear-glock. Banana-toes-rubber-puppy. This-is-only-funny-to-me. Clorox-tits-snuggie-book. Cinnamon-chin-monkey-jig. Anything-you-could-ever-want-or-need. Broccoli-dinosaur-paper-window. Mashed-windex-lightbulb-coffee-why-the-fuck-are-you-still-reading-this-poodle-crispy-soaring-snuggle-lumps. Bunny-hell-smoosh-jfioerwghvfbbefyregr.

THESE THINGS NOW EXIST BECAUSE YOU CREATED THEM. You are God. Be careful with your power and sprinkle liberally over all writing to add flavor.

P.S. Cupcake-balls-a-go-go? I know you were thinking it too.

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