1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Hyphens

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Apr 28, 2011.

    Why does "thank you card" not have a hyphen?
    ---
    Tom sent a thank you email and a few pictures

    Thank you!
     
  2. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    You mean as opposed to "thank-you card"? I'm guessing because "thank you" is generally written without one, so when you add more words to it, you don't change how you write it. I don't know for sure, this could very well just be one of the inexplicable idiosynchracies of the English language that you just have to learn.
     
  3. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    That's not what generally happens if the two words have the function of an adjective:
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/576/1/
    Use a hyphen to join two or more words serving as a single adjective before a noun:
    a one-way street
    chocolate-covered peanuts
    well-known author
     
  4. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    I wasn't making a generalization, I was speaking about this specific case. "Thank you" isn't generally used as an adjective while "one-way" "chocolate-covered" and "well-known" are. Also see my point about idiosynchratic use. At some point, I think this starts to become a question along the same lines as "why is the past tense of 'eat' 'ate' instead of 'eated'?".
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's another thread here that deals with hyphens in great detail and many examples... i suggest you go there to pursue this, instead of wasting time/space on another thread about what's already been dealt with pretty thoroughly...

    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=40019&highlight=hyphens
     
  6. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Thanks, mammamaia, I read the thread, but I still don't know if "thank-you card" is more correct than "thank you card" because I see (and find arguments for) both.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wouldn't hyphenate it... i doubt you'll find it listed as correct in any rules 'n regs...
     

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