A news report from Reuters this morning informs me that about 16,000 words are no longer hyphenated in the newest edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. I feel vindicated, after 30 years of screaming at people not to hyphenate the word online. I can’t find it at the moment, but in the very early days of ONLINE magazine, Jeff Pemberton, then both the publisher and the editor, I think, ranted in an editorial about why hyphens were inappropriate when it came to online (and ONLINE). It’s online, not on-line. Although I was tempted to describe Jeff as the then-editor, I resisted temptation and restructured (re-structured?) the sentence.
I did find it amusing that the editor of the Shorter OED, Angus Stevenson, used two hyphenated words in his explanation of why he had assassinated hyphens: design-led and old-fashioned. Yeah, both look old fashioned to me.
And when was the last time I saw ice cream rendered as ice-cream? Can’t recall, it must have melted from my memory.