Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hyphen Trouble: Big Ass Fans

Hyphens can make a big difference.

Consider the ad at right that I saw in a recent issue of The New Yorker.

Glancing at it, I wasn't sure what to make of it, though working through the possible meanings made me laugh:

BIG ass fans? (Note the donkey pictured)
Big ASS fans?
Big ass FANS?
Big fans of asses?
Fans of big asses?

Adding a hyphen would have made the message--and the registered company name--much clearer: Big-Ass Fans. That is, very big fans.

So don't be an ass; add a hyphen when needed.


  1. Well there you go. I thought the ad was for really large fans for one's backside. I would have been wrong apparently.

  2. Love it! I am a card-carrying member of the Hyphen Fan Club -- this add is one more reason to join.

  3. Ad, I meant. Sheesh. A little too quick to hit the "Post comment" button!

  4. Thanks for all the great comments! Susan, I'll have to join that Hyphen Fan Club. ;)


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