Dash off and away

It has been a disastrous day for the hyphen. Nearly 16,000 of them have been cast into oblivion by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, according to the BBC.

The sixth edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has knocked the hyphens out of 16,000 words, many of them two-word compound nouns. Fig-leaf is now fig leaf, pot-belly is now pot belly, pigeon-hole has finally achieved one word status as pigeonhole and leap-frog is feeling whole again as leapfrog.