I’ve mentioned the Oxford comma several times over the years. I’ve mentioned hyphens and dashes now and then, too, even compounding of adjectives. Well, here’s some of that again: compound adjectives.
Here’s the rule: If two (or more) adjectives together modify a word, hyphenate them. (If the first word happens to be an adverb, the hyphen can be optional, especially if it’s a common phrase.)
Okay, here’s a compound adjective done wrong:
Since “hand job” is a real thing, apparently (something salacious, I guess), the paper has pretty well embarrassed itself, because they meant “first-hand,” which is also a real thing. The error occurs inside the article, too, as “first hand experience.”
No wonder newspapers are on the decline: They are getting rid of their copy editors!
PS—Today I ran into a headline from someone who did it right:
Newberry Cabin, mammoth fossil provide science students hands-on learning opportunities
Also from a newspaper, by the way, the Star-Telegram. (Their name is a compound noun, not a compound adjective.)