One bird requires hyphen. Another reportedly crosses road

Los Angeles Times | Associated Press | The Washington Post

The August 7th story in the Los Angeles Times was about Pigeon-eating Neanderthals, but the hyphen was apparently left out. L.A .Times’ Henry Fuhrmann, assistant managing editor, copy desks and standards, tweeted about the missing hyphen.

In grammatically-unrelated but bird-related news, the Associated Press and The Washington Post wrote about a chicken that tried to cross the road and prompted a call to police. Here’s the AP’s story from Portland, Oregon:

He assured the dispatcher he was not joking.

The dispatcher chuckled – and asked a clarifying question.

“It’s just the one chicken?”

The caller said yes.

And from The Washington Post, Sarah Larimer included a public service announcement from Portland Police.

According to a news release from the Portland Police Bureau (partial headline: “Officers Unable to Determine Chicken’s Intent”), “responding officers were unable to locate the chicken and fortunately there were no traffic crashes related to this unusual report.”

Related: Poynter’s News University has a lot of courses on grammar and punctuation, including:

Language Primer: Basics of Grammar, Punctuation and Word Use, a self-directed course

7 Tools for Next-Level Writing: National Grammar Day 2014, a Webinar

– And National Punctuation Day: Tools, Not Rules, for Writing and Reading, also a Webinar

I did check News University for any guidance on covering birds and bird-related incidents and found nothing. (Correction: I was wrong! I’m told there’s bird-related content here.)

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  • Lew Irwin

    So long as the first word is an adverb. Not all words ending in “ly” are (e.g.: “his curly-haired wig,” the “family-targeted movie.”)

  • David M. Cole

    >In grammatically-unrelated but bird-related news

    Ah, but it is related to grammar. If the first word in a compound modifier ends in “ly,” it never takes a hyphen.