A couple of extra shots from the weekend; I still need to download quite a few.
Punctuation is an interesting topic for a writer. Several authors have believed that it should be done away with completely, leaving the reader to grope through and find his own way. All very modern, artistic and avant garde – and, to me, totally stupid.
I regard punctuation as the means whereby one can refine intended meaning, and get the written words to reflect the way in which the writer would want them to be read aloud. Thus, every comma is important, and I do not hesitate to hyphenate words where they form a group-concept. Apart from the obvious ones like a man eating crocodile in the restaurant, as opposed to a man-eating crocodile, there are more subtle shades of meaning like ‘He was much-maligned in the village’ or ‘He was much maligned in the village’. One would say those two differently, and the meanings are not exactly the same. The emphasis is on a different aspect in each. To me, it is common courtesy to one’s reader to define the intended meaning as precisely as the written word will allow, and such hyphenation is one of the tools of the trade.