I think if I am a grammar symbol,
I am the most humble one: the hyphen.
The word comes from the Greeks, apparently
back then it meant “together,” contracted
from the words “hupó” which meant under and
“hén” which meant one, a happy accident.
More than dotting, less than dashing, hyphens
are everywhere but are misunderstood.
When I spell my name out — “Y-O-O-N
hyphen Hendricks” — it’s always cut short by
“What’s a hyphen” and I sigh and say, “Oh,
a dash,” but it is certainly not that.
They make such multi-dimensional words
like “hard-hitting” or “21-year-old.”
Need a minus? Hyphen. Long word jumping
to a new line? Hyphen. Just need a break?