Richard A. Posner, How Judges Think
The dumbass defense

Another lesson in hyphenating phrasal adjectives

A couple of weeks ago, a headline in a law-oriented magazine prompted me to write on the importance of hyphenating phrasal adjectives. Today a different headline teaches the same lesson more vividly, and this time, the headline writer gets it right.  From the Onion:

I’m a Diseased- and Deformed-Animal Lover

Without the hyphens, diseased and deformed would describe the author. But the hyphens make clear that those words modify animal.