Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Hyphens

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 2.00 average.
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 02:03   #1
Silverwolf
Registered User
 
Silverwolf's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,375
Hyphens

Oh boy, do I love, and hate hyphens. Moving to America has challenged my understanding of hyphens quite a bit. Broad-leaved willowherb became broadleaf willowherb, night heron became night-heron, and so on.

I ask the following questions because these examples in particular still confuse me. I have read the IOC "rules" and they don't really answer these cases for me.

1. Tropicbird is not hyphenated, so why is storm-petrel?
2. Night-heron should be nightheron, following nighthawk, no?
3. Wood-pewee is hyphenated, but bushtit is not?
4. Wrentit, according to IOC rules, should be hyphenated. But it isn't. ???
5. Is magpie lark really magpie lark, or is it magpielark, or magpie-lark?

Can anyone help me out? I want to understand hyphens rather than ignore them. Personally I've ignored IOC and followed these 3 rules on basis of what makes the most logical sense:

Adjective adjective**+noun = first term separate, latter terms combined with no hyphen (superb fairywren)
Adjective noun+noun = first term separate, latter terms combined with hyphen (grey shrike-thrush)
Noun+noun = spaced words, no hyphens (night parrot)

Am I wrong to follow these 3 rules? If not I suppose if fairywren is combined, shouldn't stormpetrel also be combined as so? Why or why not? It looks ugly, but for consistency we can't pick and choose.

**obviously fairy itself is generally a noun, but in this case it is used as an adjective to describe the bird.
__________________
#796- buff-breasted sandpiper.

Last edited by Silverwolf : Thursday 15th February 2018 at 02:05.
Silverwolf is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 06:52   #2
Jos Stratford
Beast from the East
 
Jos Stratford's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Exile in Eastern Europe
Posts: 15,821
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwolf View Post
. Personally I've ignored IOC and followed these 3 rules on basis of what makes the most logical sense:

Adjective adjective**+noun = first term separate, latter terms combined with no hyphen (superb fairywren)
Adjective noun+noun = first term separate, latter terms combined with hyphen (grey shrike-thrush)
Noun+noun = spaced words, no hyphens (night parrot)

Am I wrong to follow these 3 rules?

**obviously fairy itself is generally a noun, but in this case it is used as an adjective to describe the bird.
A little bit of bad news for you in your personal rules :) Your last example of noun+noun is not actually a noun+noun. Similar to your reasoning for fairy, 'night' is an adjective in this case, describing the parrot. However, fairy in fairywren is not really an adjective, it is part of the compound noun :)

Good luck with the hyphens
__________________
For photographs and articles, Lithuania and beyond, click here for my website
Jos Stratford is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 07:07   #3
McMadd
and the continuing battle to take *****cilious britbirders to task...

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampere
Posts: 2,344
You would like to think though that as part of the "coming together" of all the different publishing organisations that make money out of these lists they'd sort the bloody things out once and for all...
McMadd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 09:57   #4
Nutcracker
Northumbrian

 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 16,487
One useful rule, followed by everyone except AOU / Clements (and sadly, occasionally, IOC):

Never capitalise after a hyphen.

Doing so just looks plain awful.
Nutcracker is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 10:19   #5
jurek
Registered User
 
jurek's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Switzerland/Poland
Posts: 3,841
My feeling is that hyphens are used depending from pronounciation. Short words are brought into one (bushtit), longer ones with hyphens (night-heron), longest words are broken into two (whistling duck). Which is apparently wrong according to rules of formal English.

English needs a new name for eared-pheasants from Asia. They are frequently mis-hyphenated as brown-eared pheasant and grey-eared pheasant. Of course, the bird is brown or grey, its ears are white.
jurek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 13:53   #6
Kirk Roth
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by jurek View Post
My feeling is that hyphens are used depending from pronounciation. Short words are brought into one (bushtit), longer ones with hyphens (night-heron), longest words are broken into two (whistling duck). Which is apparently wrong according to rules of formal English.
I think you've hit on it - at least in our current era. The prevalent use of hyphens in the non-ornithological world seems to be the representation of a vocal effect on paper, and that is affected by what the words themselves are. People don't type "nonornithological" but "nonverbal" seems perfectly fine both as I type it and as I sound it out through my head.

Unfortunately for some, hyphens like other aspects of language do not naturally conform to formal rules but are rather just simple language tools, to be used as the communicator sees fit. Some claim Gutenberg as the "inventor" of the hyphen, but for him it was simply a printing tool to achieve even spacing. It can also be used to clarify, associate, formalize, break words on a page, or signify how fast something is said. Like all aspects of language (think apostrophes, contractions, or word meaning itself), the use of these tools changes over time, with echoes of the past reaching us in quirks and oddities that sometimes get forgotten. Organizing all these moving parts into formal static rules is about as easy as defining taxa as species.
Kirk Roth is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 15:39   #7
Silverwolf
Registered User
 
Silverwolf's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
A little bit of bad news for you in your personal rules :) Your last example of noun+noun is not actually a noun+noun. Similar to your reasoning for fairy, 'night' is an adjective in this case, describing the parrot. However, fairy in fairywren is not really an adjective, it is part of the compound noun :)

Good luck with the hyphens
Oh boy. Well you got me there Jos. I was actually struggling to find a suitable definition for these cases!

All I wish we can find is unity. Is it just me or is there a lot of arbitrary naming and syntax? Really, why is storm-petrel not stormpetrel while fairywren is as such, same with bushtit and wrentit and treecreeper.

Jurek I know this might be absurd but maybe brown-eared-pheasant would work Joking of course, but maybe that is the answer?? I wish I knew.
__________________
#796- buff-breasted sandpiper.
Silverwolf is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 17:41   #8
jacana
Will Jones
 
jacana's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Posts: 4,436
A general (but by no means absolute) rule that I follow is that if the name is a compound of two sort of birds then it's hyphenated. If it's a bird name and a non-bird name then it isn't. So: Hawk-Owl, Thrush-Nightingale and Peacock-Pheasant vs Storm Petrel, Night Heron, Scrub Robin.

In addition with bird-bird names, if the bird is in the family that the name suggests then you capitalise both (Hawk-Owl); if it's not then you don't capitalise the second one (Shrike-babbler). This also is the case for things like Stone-curlew, which are neither stones, nor Curlews.

As for removing a hyphen/space altogether... You're on your own!
__________________
Latest Lifer: Hazel Grouse (2043)
Latest UK Lifer: Ross's Gull (318)
Latest Sweden Lifer: Eurasian Hoopoe (264)
Latest World 2018: Snow Bunting (524)
jacana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 18:33   #9
fugl
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 14,269
Then there are “legacy” words like “antidisestablishmentarianism”. Except in some technical jargons (e.g. chemical names), there is no way that a modern coinage of that length would be hyphen(-)less.

And I agree with Nutcracker, hyphens between capitalized words are an affront to the eye and are never permissible.
__________________
Bird photos (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/
". . .Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

--Gerard Manley Hopkins
fugl is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 18:50   #10
MJB
Registered User
 
MJB's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Holt
Posts: 4,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by fugl View Post
And I agree with Nutcracker, hyphens between capitalized words are an affront to the eye and are never permissible.
Except that human beings are capable of rational argument, which on occasion means that affronts to the eye can, by plausible reasoning, be much reduced.

"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals." (Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 2, Page 13)

That's a high pedestal to reach and maintain - I'm with jacana's sensible and pragmatic compromise.
MJB
PS I thought it impolitic to offer a countervailing view via "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye...! (Luke 6:41)
__________________
The fuzziness of all supposedly absolute taxonomic distinctions - Stephen Jay Gould (1977) "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History".
Species and subspecies are but a convenient fiction - Kees van Deemter (2010), "In praise of vagueness". Biology is messy
MJB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 19:07   #11
nartreb
Speak softly and carry a long lens
 
nartreb's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1,187
This is one of many areas where English simply refuses to behave. In general, there's a progression from phrases to hyphenation to true compounds. That last step in particular usually means the phrase no longer sounds unusual to English speakers, but there's no particular speed at which this happens.

The hyphen sometimes carries semantic meaning, but this is not reliable. The Douglas-fir is not a true fir and some authorities insist it should therefore always be hyphenated. Such a rule of hyphenation, though, is widely ignored, witness the recent IAU decision that Pluto is not a planet, but is a "dwarf planet".
__________________
My bird photos
nartreb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 19:09   #12
fugl
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 14,269
Well, about wrangling-about-hyphens there’s obviously no end. . ..
__________________
Bird photos (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/
". . .Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

--Gerard Manley Hopkins
fugl is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 20:57   #13
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by fugl View Post
And I agree with Nutcracker, hyphens between capitalized words are an affront to the eye and are never permissible.
Except of course that there are many British examples of double-barrelled surnames that are hyphenated and both capitalised.

These days there are also many examples of children with double forenames that are hyphenated and capitalised, but these simply indicate that the parents should be taken to a vet and put to sleep (indeed, should have been before breeding).

John
Farnboro John is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 22:56   #14
fugl
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 14,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Except of course that there are many British examples of double-barrelled surnames that are hyphenated and both capitalised.
You’re right, of course: Claude Cattermole "Catsmeat" Potter-pirbright, for example, won’t do at all. Dto for Cyril “Barmy” Fotheringale-phipps while Algernon “Algy” Wymondham-wymondham is as bad or worse. So I’ll have to give you this one, I guess. . ..
__________________
Bird photos (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/
". . .Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Last edited by fugl : Thursday 15th February 2018 at 22:58.
fugl is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 23:54   #15
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 21,241
In many ways, languages develop ...........

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Temporarily living in Tennessee
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 16th February 2018, 16:42   #16
Silverwolf
Registered User
 
Silverwolf's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,375
So this has been an interesting debate. I still wonder what is the solution when it comes to a project involving bird names from a complete region? Easier with America because of the IOC "rules", where hyphens are sort of well-founded over the years (as in we are used to night-heron, never night heron). But in another country, say Australia, it is common to see fairywren, fairy wren, fairy-wren and magpie-lark magpielark and so on over primary references. Is it possible to have a consistency in cases like this?

It seems for that, I may have to make my own rules. Pick what I want, and stick with it?
__________________
#796- buff-breasted sandpiper.
Silverwolf is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th February 2018, 16:54   #17
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwolf View Post
So this has been an interesting debate. I still wonder what is the solution when it comes to a project involving bird names from a complete region? Easier with America because of the IOC "rules", where hyphens are sort of well-founded over the years (as in we are used to night-heron, never night heron). But in another country, say Australia, it is common to see fairywren, fairy wren, fairy-wren and magpie-lark magpielark and so on over primary references. Is it possible to have a consistency in cases like this?

It seems for that, I may have to make my own rules. Pick what I want, and stick with it?
Just talk about them, don't write them down. Avoids all this bother.

John
Farnboro John is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th February 2018, 18:41   #18
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 21,241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwolf View Post
So this has been an interesting debate. I still wonder what is the solution when it comes to a project involving bird names from a complete region? Easier with America because of the IOC "rules", where hyphens are sort of well-founded over the years (as in we are used to night-heron, never night heron). But in another country, say Australia, it is common to see fairywren, fairy wren, fairy-wren and magpie-lark magpielark and so on over primary references. Is it possible to have a consistency in cases like this?

It seems for that, I may have to make my own rules. Pick what I want, and stick with it?
The Clements list (which actually starts with the AOU/AOS rules and committee decisions) and the IOC list both can be downloaded on the web. Choose one of them and use whatever the chosen list uses as spellings.

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Temporarily living in Tennessee
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 16th February 2018, 19:18   #19
MJB
Registered User
 
MJB's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Holt
Posts: 4,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by fugl View Post
Algernon Algy Wymondham-wymondham is as bad or worse. So Ill have to give you this one, I guess. . ..
Incidentally, pronounced 'Windam-windam'....., so as you can see, the hyphen followed by a lower cased word is absolutely essential here... or not.
MJB
__________________
The fuzziness of all supposedly absolute taxonomic distinctions - Stephen Jay Gould (1977) "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History".
Species and subspecies are but a convenient fiction - Kees van Deemter (2010), "In praise of vagueness". Biology is messy
MJB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th February 2018, 20:37   #20
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 12,603
Admittedly from Wikipedia, but makes you think:

The surname of the extinct family of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos was the quintuple-barrelled Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville.

Thank heavens they never discovered a night-heron or eared-pheasant!

John
Farnboro John is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th February 2018, 20:55   #21
fugl
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 14,269
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Incidentally, pronounced 'Windam-windam'....., so as you can see, the hyphen followed by a lower cased word is absolutely essential here... or not.
MJB
Augustus “Gussie” Fink-nottle? No, never! Lower(-)casing the noble name of “Nottle” reduces the poor chinless newt-fancier to total insignificance.
__________________
Bird photos (Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/
". . .Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Last edited by fugl : Friday 16th February 2018 at 22:15.
fugl is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 16th February 2018, 22:17   #22
Silverwolf
Registered User
 
Silverwolf's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,375
Thanks guys. I will go by the IOC list and try not to ask any questions about the hows and whys...probably better off that way!
__________________
#796- buff-breasted sandpiper.
Silverwolf is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th February 2018, 10:37   #23
Calalp
Bjrn Bergenholtz
 
Calalp's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 2,767
Quote:
Hyphens
The use of hyphens in the spelling of compound bird names is a contentious issue among ornithologists. More broadly, grammarians now view past enthusiasms for hyphens as excessive and unnecessary ...
IOC's own words/"rules", here.

Regarding English Names they also deal with; Spelling Rules, Capitalization, Patronyms and Accents, British vs American, Geographical Nouns vs Adjectives, and Compound Names ...

If of any use?
Calalp is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th February 2018, 13:36   #24
Xenospiza
Undescribed
 
Xenospiza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a drawer
Posts: 10,395
I have switched to the IOC logic and removed most hyphens even if I do not mind them too much.
It can be a lot worse. For the birds of South America, Van Remsen wants monophyletic compound bird names with a hyphen, non-monophyletic compound bird names without... So now they are stuck with "Ground Doves" and "Warbling-Finches".
I think the latter does not make any sense from a linguistic point of view. To express taxonomic details we have scientific names: it is quite ridiculous to bang on about hyphens when tanagers, sparrows, warblers etc. are spread over a multitude of families!
Xenospiza is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 01:16   #25
Silverwolf
Registered User
 
Silverwolf's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 4,375
Riddle me this: IOC lists "buttonquail". Then, it proceeds to list "stone-curlew". Why would stone-curlew not be stonecurlew, if buttonquail is without a hyphen?
__________________
#796- buff-breasted sandpiper.
Silverwolf is online now  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hyphens, again... Richard Klim Bird Taxonomy and Nomenclature 36 Wednesday 10th February 2016 14:22
Rock Thrushes: Hyphens again wintibird Opus Discussion Area 2 Thursday 23rd October 2008 19:42



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.24151301 seconds with 37 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 20:32.