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Bruce, Caroline

English Question

When I did my English poll sometime ago, several of you said your
English was "impeccable". Being only of the "better than most" species
myself, I thought I'd defer to those in the know, as I pose the
following question.

In this future New York Times bestseller I'm proofreading, we
read the following sentence:

Kingdom Protista is a diverse group of living things that contains
animal-like plantlike, and funguslike organisms.

Why is animal-like hyphenated, while plantlike and funguslike are not?
This is consistent in the text, so would not be a print error. I suppose
I could consult a dictionary and see which of the three words are or are
not in the dictionary, that might provide a clue. Anyway, o
impeccabiliacs out there, if you could answer my question, I would be
mildly grateful.

Comments

animal-like vs. funguslike

Funguslike can be done either way, but animal-like cannot due to the two ls.

Re: animal-like vs. funguslike

I was going to say the same thing as the very wise 3kitties . the hyphen in animal-like delineates that there are two words and that they should be pronounced as two distinctive words. Otherwise it would sound, and I am using JFW with Eloquence, animallike, which is not right. But you cannot say animal like because that doesn't mean the same as animal-like. Plantlike and Funguslike do not have the two l's and as such do not need to be hyphenated.
Get it? Got it? Good. :)

Re: animal-like vs. funguslike

Aha. Makes perfect sense. Thank you. I can finally sleep nights again.