A father son relationship (punctuation)

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Packard

Senior Member
USA, English
I saw an advertisement that read:

A father son relationship so close that they shared a liver.

The ad goes on to describe a partial liver transplant.

My question is does the "father son" require some sort of punctuation?

father/son (looks too formal to me)
father, son (I believe I would use this)
father; son (I would not use this; it looks wrong to me)
father:son (no spaces, as an equation)
father son (no punctuation)
 
  • Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I agree that it does seem to need some type of punctuation. I understand the sentence, but none of these really work for me. I would use no punctuation or 'father-son', since we want to combine the idea of the two to describe the relationship. 'Father, son' breaks the sentence into two phrases, and this doesn't make any sense.
     

    aircraftman3

    New Member
    Native: Polish; Variety: Englis(???)
    Hello!

    father/son - this looks like it gives us some kind of choice between either father, or son;
    father, son - this clearly divides the sentence into two, whe way it should not do;
    father; son - next, this ends the sentence, wrong as well;
    father:son - i am not sure about that, but the colon makes it look as if the son "derived" from the father;
    father son - a version without any puctuation seems incorrect to me as well..

    The only possible selection is "a father-son relationship". Thank Ya'll :). Adam
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    A rule... hmmm. How about this one?
    1. Use a hyphen to join two or more words serving as a single adjective before a noun:

    a one-way street
    chocolate-covered peanuts
    well-known author

    Source: Purdue University Online Writing Lab (I found it by looking in the Resources post in the Sticky)
    This might sound weird, but should I choose to use "and," I'd still hyphenate. :eek:
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A rule... hmmm. How about this one?
    This might sound weird, but should I choose to use "and," I'd still hyphenate. :eek:

    I think the hyphen wins (unless someone else comes up with something).

    But I see "mother daughter apartments" listed and they are rarely punctuated (but that's in the classified section of the paper where punctuation is a bit iffy anyway).
     

    Basil Ganglia

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think it requires the hyphen and should be either "father-son" or "father-and-son" relationship.

    I also think it should be "mother-daughter" apartments.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think it requires the hyphen and should be either "father-son" or "father-and-son" relationship.

    I also think it should be "mother-daughter" apartments.
    Yes I'm thinking that hyphens win and thanks to Trisia I've got a "rule" to fall back on too.
     
    The balance of opinion is clearly against me, but I'd be tempted to use "father/son".

    Source: Wikipedia
    I say, "father/son" is also possible, as "/" can also be used to replace "and" in certain cases.

    I, however, would prefer "father-son".

    A slash may represent 'and', as in: 1990/91, Minneapolis/St. Paul.
    Source: dictionary(dot)reference(dot)com
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    My problem with the "/" is that it starts to look a bit "mathematical" (for want of a better word) and that is contrary to the notion being advanced.

    I guess this is a case where almost anything you want to write would be OK.

    The problem with the ad itself was that the layout of the typography was a bit odd:

    A
    father
    son relationship so close that they shared a liver.


    I guess the addition of any punctuation in that layout would create a visual problem.​
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    'A bit odd'? Wow. I'd hate to see your definition of 'very odd':D

    I'd have been very tempted to add an and in there:
    A
    father
    and son relationship so close that they shared a liver.
     
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