It saddens me to report that weedy poet Dennis Beerpint has been caught red-handed in an act of plagiarism. His verse “The Fountainhead : Homage à Ayn Rand” from his well-received recent collection A Series Of Homages To Female Right-Wing Russo-American Postage Stamp Collectors was, it seems, lifted word for word from this paragraph in Compound Words : A Study Of The Principles Of Compounding, The Components Of Compounds, And The Use Of The Hyphen by Frederick W. Hamilton, LL. D., published in 1918 by the Committee on Education of the United Typothetae Of America:
“41. Following is a list of words of everyday occurrence which should be hyphenated, and which do not fall under any of the above classifications.
after-years food-stuff sea-level
bas-relief guinea-pig sense-perception
birth-rate horse-power son-in-law
blood-relations loan-word subject-matter
common-sense man-of-war thought-process
cross-examine object-lesson title-page
cross-reference page-proof wave-length
cross-section pay-roll well-being
death-rate poor-law well-nigh
folk-song post-office will-power
These rules are the consensus of opinion of a considerable number of good authorities from DeVinne (1901) to Manly and Powell (1913).”
The only change Dennis Beerpint makes is to add an exclamation mark after “fountain-head”, presumably to remind himself to shout the word, triumphantly, at recitals.
But that last (shouted) word of Beerpint’s ‘Homage’ should remind us that he is surely no more culpable, for transplanting this charming litany from the shadowy pages of a style-manual to the gleaming world of Belles-Lettres (note the hyphen), than M. Duchamp is for garnering sundry urinals, from workaday obscurity and obsolescence, into the glittering world of the Beaux Arts (usually rendered without one).
True enough, R, true enough… but what we all want to know is: are you hard at work on the anagram version?
Sorry: I make it a matter of principle not to tamper with the works of writers of the calibre of Serpentine Bind.