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  1. #1 More, for you readers 
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    Some of you may remember my fascination with Moby Dick. And that's how Melville wrote it, Moby Dick.

    But I found this in an article:
    ...For the time being, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who knows that Finnegans Wake and Howards End have no apostrophes, or (to stay topical) that Moby-Dick does have a hyphen.....http://www.weeklystandard.com/articl...le_604169.html
    Without going into discussion about which side of the tracks housed my childhood, I will confess to being ignorant of all three of those facts. And I'm pretty careful about my comas and apostrophes.

    So I pulled out my leather bound, specially printed edition of Moby Dick and looked.

    Melville did a lot of things that your high school English teacher may take issue with (OK, with which your teacher may take issue) like putting exclamation marks and the like in the middle of a sentence and capitalizing White Whale but he did not hyphenate Moby Dick.

    So what gives? Why did this writer - he was reviewing a book - call for hyphenating Moby Dick? For that matter, why does anything other than a word at the end of a paragraph that won't fit on a line get hyphenated?
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  2. #2  
    Super Moderator BadCat's Avatar
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    I used to have a golden retriever named Starbuck.

    rm -rf obama*
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadCat View Post
    I used to have a golden retriever named Starbuck.
    Yeah, but why didn't you name him Star-Buck?:)
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Ranger Rick's Avatar
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    First name Moby, last name Dick. Why would it be hyphenated?
    I dream of the day a chicken can cross the road without it's motives being questioned.

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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Rick View Post
    First name Moby, last name Dick. Why would it be hyphenated?
    I dunno. That was my question
    Maybe Miss Moby & Mr Dick had a baby whale and Moby-Dick was his last name, and his first name could have been something like Clarence. But if that was the case we never would have heard of him, cause a killer whale named Clarence just wouldn't make sense.
    Last edited by Starbuck; 11-13-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Ranger Rick's Avatar
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    mmm... Clarence Dick: Killer Whale. I don't know, I could see that on a busness card. Or maybe a TV show.
    I dream of the day a chicken can cross the road without it's motives being questioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    How is a state religion bad, but state medicine good?
    Quote Originally Posted by steamboatpete View Post
    Anyone who makes the decision to depend upon the government to take care of their basic needs has essentially doomed himself to a life of bitter disappointment.
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  7. #7  
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    Wikipedia has the hyphen in the title page of the first American edition:

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...title_page.jpg
    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...wiki/Moby-Dick

    Also check out:
    http://www.melville.org/hmmoby.htm
    Last edited by Elspeth; 11-13-2011 at 04:48 PM.
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  8. #8  
    Resident Grandpa marv's Avatar
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    All of us spelling/grammar nazis refer to the Index of English Usage.

    BTW, the original title was "The Whale, Moby-Dick"........:D

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  9. #9  
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    Still a puzzlement.
    Sounds simple, but now that several have weighed in (or did they way in?) I have searched and found every combination; Moby Dick; Moby-Dick; and even Moby-dick.

    And if all that were not enough, there is this jewel:
    ....A definitive collection of hyphenation rules does not exist; rather, different manuals of style prescribe different usage guidelines......
    So, Melville hyphenated Moby-Dick (or did not) simply because he felt like it. Or didn't.

    Thanks

    Star-buck:)
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