Thursday, November 12, 2009

Once again, the importance of hyphens.

I just came across this headline in The New York Times: "Gene D. Cohen, Geriatric Psychiatrist, Dies at 65". My first reaction when I saw this was that it was unfair to call a man who is 65 a geriatric. Then I realized that Cohen was a psychiatrist for geriatrics not a geriatric psychiatrist. I'm no grammarian but I think the headline should have called him a "Geriatric-Psychiatrist."

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