This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hyphenated or Not

The word of the moment seems to be reopen.  

Governor Hogan announced yesterday that Maryland will begin to reopen this Friday starting at 5 p.m.  (And speaking of overused terms thank God "Wash your hands" and "We're in this together" seem to have passed their expiration dates.  Sure got sick of hearing those said every 5 minutes!)  

But seeing and hearing the word reopen got me thinking about it.  First, I wondered if it is really a word.  When you come down to it, a business is either open or it is closed.  Thus, how can it reopen?  (Guess you can tell that I have been on a George Carlin roll here lately as he once discussed a whole list of redundancies that you hear said a lot (click here.))

But my second take on the word reopen has to do with how it is spelled as in whether or not it gets a hyphen.  I have seen it mostly without the hyphen but it also appears quite frequently with a hyphen.  

And because I have the time to waste on such trivial pursuits, I hit the ole Google machine and found this little explanation that a hyphen should only be used when the word with re already exists.  
Too, when I re-hit (hyphen pun intended) Google I landed on this extended discussion about something called a diaeresis.  The New Yorker magazine uses this in lieu of a hyphen (click here.)  Please note that this diaeresis business was a new one on me and that Sister Gregory never taught it in her English class.  For that matter, no English teacher I ever had once mentioned a term that sounds more like a medical condition than it does an English reference.

But to conclude on whether or not to use a hyphen, my lazy boy approach to things always takes me back to something someone once advised when making a decision - when in doubt, leave it out.  That works for me.  Henceforth, it is reopen.

And just because it has the line "Deadlines and commitments, what to leave in and what to leave out" here's Little Bob with Jason Aldean.  (The other great line is "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."  Boy does that one ever re-resonate!)

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