Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

Another punctuation question

Crumbly Writer

OK, most of us agree that multiple word adjectives get hyphenated, but how would you punctuate the following: "tight rainbow colored hot pants"? Do you say "tight, rainbow-colored hot pants", or do you drop the hyphen because the object they modify is two words? I'm pretty sure it gets hyphenated, but it looks odd when the adjective is hyphenated, but the subject it modifies isn't.

sejintenej

'Hot Pants' is the singular name of an object (ie in this case hot is not an adjective) so I would use the hyphen between rainbow and coloured. I know everyone and his brother will condemn this but I would not use a comma after tight

tppm

@Crumbly Writer

I think the hyphenated version is technically correct, but also that ether one will do.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


"tight, rainbow-colored hot pants"


Like what's quoted.

One of the rules of commas is if the order of the adjectives doesn't change the meaning (e.g., "rainbow-colored, tight hot pants" means the same) then you have a comma after each one except the one preceding the noun.

However, I don't always follow that rule. Sometimes it simply flows better without the comma. I'd probably go back and forth, but as of my current "forth" I'd leave the comma out.

Oops, I'm back on my "back." Now it sounds better with the comma. LOL

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Thanks. I liked my initial version without the comma better, but I couldn't express why. Thanks to Switch and tppm, I now feel confident dropping the comma (and admitting to it). But my main question was over the hyphen in rainbow colored. As long as it doesn't strike anyone else as odd, I'll go with it too.

It may help to have the full sentence (I was shying away from exposing the story context), but here it is:

We need to step away from the queens in tight rainbow-colored hot pants, and show a wider range of behaviors.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


"tight rainbow colored hot pants"


I'd go with: "tight rainbow-colored hot-pants" because the words rainbow and hot are both modifiers

typo edit

Replies:   tppm  Crumbly Writer  graybyrd
tppm

@Ernest Bywater

"Hot" is not a modifier, though it may have been originally, "hot pants" is a noun phrase.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I'd go with: "tight rainbow-colored hot-pants" because the words rainbow and hot are both modifiers

Technically, "hot" modifies pants, but "hot pants" isn't generally hyphenated as it's a proper noun for the specific type of garment. The pants aren't toasty, they're a particular type of shorts.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Technically, "hot" modifies pants, but "hot pants" isn't generally hyphenated as it's a proper noun for the specific type of garment. The pants aren't toasty, they're a particular type of shorts.


I know what they are, and I looked it up in a 1980s printed dictionary, which showed the term written in both ways and also noted that denim ones are often called 'Daisy Dukes' in the USA. Which may not be an easily recognised term outside of the USA.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

and also noted that denim ones are often called 'Daisy Dukes' in the USA. Which may not be an easily recognised term outside of the USA.

The term 'Daisy Dukes' was coined based on a character in an American TV show ("The Dukes of Hazard", or something like that). It was internationally syndicated (broadcast outside the U.S.), but I doubt it had wide distribution given when it was first broadcast.

richardshagrin

Why would a pair of pants be singular? Isn't a pair two? Clothing worn below the waist seems to come in pairs. A pair of shorts, undershorts, shoes and socks (of course there are two of them), trousers and I am pretty sure the are others that come as a pair even though they appear to be one garment. Its not a pair of bras, although it encloses two distinct body parts. Although not clothing, scissors are also a pair. Normally there is only one parasite. Or Paradise. To roll a seven, you need a pair of dice. A fruit comes as a pear.

Capt Zapp

@richardshagrin

To roll a seven, you need a pair of dice


Only if the dice have between 4 and 6 sides. There are dice which have more. I have a pair that have 100 sides. I have other dice with 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 20, 24, and 30 sides. Playing some board games with the higher number of sides really speeds things up :)

Replies:   tppm
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Why would a pair of pants be singular? Isn't a pair two?


because they started life as two tubes that you slipped on each leg and then tied together with rope around the waist. Later they got joined by being sewn together in the middle seam. But the name has stayed the same.

graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

I'd go with: "tight rainbow-colored hot-pants" because the words rainbow and hot are both modifiers


If you'd go with "hot-pants" then you'd also have to go with "boxer-shorts" ... which in our hemisphere we don't. It's hot pants and boxer shorts, and may the twain e'er meet.

tppm

@Capt Zapp

I have other dice with 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 20, 24, and 30 sides


Just curious, how do you get a 2 sided die? Of the others, all but 4, 6, 8, 12, and 20 (all the regular geometric solids) are unstable, and not truly random

Replies:   graybyrd  Capt Zapp
graybyrd
Updated:

@tppm

Just curious, how do you get a 2 sided die?


We call it a coin. Heads one side, tails t'other.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@graybyrd


We call it a coin. Heads one side, tails t'other.


Wouldn't need to be a coin. A flat token in any shape would do as long as it's not thick enough for a stable landing on an edge. Poker chips, checkers pieces, lots of things other than coins could be used.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Poker chips, checkers pieces, lots of things


when you get to the potato chips, ship them to me, but when you get to the buffalo chips ship them to Obama.

Replies:   graybyrd  Dominions Son
graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

but when you get to the buffalo chips ship them to Obama.


Not possible. T.Rump has cornered the market. Buffalo 'n Bulls both.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

when you get to the potato chips, ship them to me


If I had potato chips, the only place I would be shipping them would be to my own stomach.

Capt Zapp

@tppm

Just curious, how do you get a 2 sided die?


A two-sided die is the most common of all. Most people have them in their pockets or maybe in the ashtray of their car. More commonly referred to as a coin.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Capt Zapp

Never say die. Coins do have two sides, maybe more than two if you count the inside and the outside and the circumference where the milling is that makes it obvious when the coin has been clipped. But that does not make a coin or similar a die. Its hard to roll a coin.

To get the random outcome you roll a die. There are 3 sided dice. Vaguely triangular as a tetrahedron. The number desired as the random outcome is flat on the bottom of the pyramid. Usually the numbers for the bottom are on an edge close to the bottom that lies flat on the table.

I have also seen 100 sided dice. Typically they are numbered from zero to 99, although sometimes zero is treated as if it were 100 by the game. There are "normal" dice numbered 2,2,3,4,5,5 in some wargames I used to play where regular troops like Romans didn't get the benefit or detriment of the 6 and 1 outcomes in combat.

I have also seen dice that were all twos and another that was all fives. Thrown together they guaranteed a seven. Cheating, if playing craps and likely to make the tosser very unpopular. There is probably a reason why the singular of dice (die) is a homonym for ceasing to live.

Replies:   Capt Zapp  tppm
Capt Zapp

@richardshagrin

Its hard to roll a coin.


It is not that difficult to roll a coin. just put it on it's edge and roll it. It is hard to roll one as usually referred to with dice. Flipping a coin can be considered rolling without the aid of a surface, much as an aircraft cn be rolled in flight.

To get the random outcome you roll a die. There are 3 sided dice. Vaguely triangular as a tetrahedron. The number desired as the random outcome is flat on the bottom of the pyramid.


I had never seen a three-sided die until I looked it up due to your mentioning it. There are some very interesting designs for them, not just the triangular shape.

tppm
Updated:

@richardshagrin


To get the random outcome you roll a die. There are 3 sided dice. Vaguely triangular as a tetrahedron. The number desired as the random outcome is flat on the bottom of the pyramid. Usually the numbers for the bottom are on an edge close to the bottom that lies flat on the table.


Tetrahedra are 4 sided, made up of four intersecting equilateral triangles. When sitting on a flat surface they look like three sided pyramids, the fourth side is the base.

I think you may be making the same mistake as people inside a cube (room) who think it's four sided, because they don't count the floor or ceiling.

Back to Top