Monday, September 16, 2019

Adventures in hyphenation

Stan Carey poses a question: What would serve as an apt compound modifier for the opposite of user-friendly ?


October 5: From a television commercial for Paycom: “My HR app is user-unfriendly.”

Related posts
Bad hyphens, unhelpful abbreviations : “Every generation hyphenates the way it wants to” : “Fellow-billionaires” : Got hyphens? : The Hammacher Schlemmer crazy making hyphen shortage problem : Living on hyphens : Mr. Hyphen and e-mail : Mr. Hyphen and Mr. Faulkner : One more from Mr. Hyphen : Phrasal-adjective punctuation

[As I wrote in a comment on Stan’s post, user-unfriendly sounds best to my ear. I hear in it a touch of wit, a quick negation of the more familiar term.]

comments: 7

Unknown said...

I don't see the need. We have frustrating, awkward, cumbersome, counterintuitive.

Michael Leddy said...

True, but if you read Stan’s post, you’ll see that it’s about how one might form a tricky compound modifier.

Daughter Number Three said...

I agree with Stan that the various options imply degrees of unfriendliness. User-friendly is kind of a yes/no, whereas unfriendly can be anything from thoughtlessly not friendly to overtly hostile.

Michael Leddy said...

Now I’m thinking about what would count as user-hostile (and not merely careless). Facebook’s procedures for unsubscribing? App Store subscription tricks? Not poorly designed but malevolently designed.

Fresca said...

I too thought of "user-hostile."
Trying to unsubscribe from a user-hostile site is a great example!

Stefan Hagemann said...

One can’t swipe between stories on the iPad’s NYT app anymore. The reader must return to some kind of base page and select a new story. That seems user-hostile to me.

Michael Leddy said...

And how. I read the paper only in the browser, and always wait as the details of the lower sections open to reveal themselves as I scroll down. Not really hostile, but standoffish.