comic-book-movie/ comic book movie

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Gabriel Malheiros, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Gabriel Malheiros Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hello, guys

    If I want to talk about the release/opening of a movie inspired by a comic book, how could I say that?

    "This was the biggest comic-book-movie opening ever"
    "This was the biggest comic book movie opening ever"

    Thank you
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Of course people won't hear the hyphens, GM, but I'd use them in writing: ...the biggest comic-book-movie opening ever.
  3. Chez Senior Member

    English English
    Ask, what kind of movie is it? It's a movie based on a comic book. So, to keep the two parts of the 'adjective' or description together, hyphenate comic-book but not movie i.e comic-book movie.
  4. Gabriel Malheiros Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    but If I don't join together comic-book" and "movie" with a hyphen, won't "comic book" referring to "opening" instead of "movie?
  5. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I think so, GM. Chez may well have a different opinion.

    I'd use "comic-book-movie opening" because you are distinguishing between a "comic-book movie" and other types of movies: cop movies, rap movies, sports movies, etc.
  6. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    My logic (about hyphenating multi-word adjectives) would say "comic-book movie opening".
    I would not use a second hyphen ("comic-book-movie opening") because it fails to show that "book" is more closely linked to "comic" than to "movie".
    However, all of this may be swept aside by usage:
    I did Google searches for the phrase and found only "comic book movie opening": no hyphens.
    There are nice, logical rules about hyphenation of multi-word adjectives, but many writers disregard them.
  7. Gabriel Malheiros Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    But If I say "comic book movie opening", isn't that mean "comic and book" are referring to "opening"? , and If I say "comic-book movie opening", doesn't is sound like the "comic-book" is referring to "opening"?

    "A small appliance industry" --> A appliance industry that is small
    "A small-appliance industry --> A industry of small appliances.

    isn't it the same situation as the case I provided?

    I can't understand :(
  8. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Hello, GM. I agree with your position. Others don't.

    Fluent English-speakers don't always agree about every little thing. There is some disagreement about how many hyphens to use in unlikely combinations such as "comic-book-movie opening". Your logic is fine with me, but others have different opinions. Try not to let this disagreement disappoint you too much. You can hyphenate that phrase however you want to. Somebody will probably agree with any solution you come up with.:rolleyes:
  9. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I referred to "my logic" because I personally am a careful user of hyphens, and I think I know why I use them.
    But there are respectable writers who tend to avoid hyphens.
    Part of their reasoning for omitting hyphens is that, often, there is no ambiguity.
    In your "small-appliance" example, there is potential ambiguity, and I agree with the way in which you use the hyphen to differentiate the meanings.
    But with the movie, your knowledge of the world tells you there is such a thing as a "movie opening", but no such thing as a "book opening" or a "comic book opening".
    The meanings of the words make their relationship clear, and a hyphen or hyphens are not necessary to disambiguate them.
  10. Englishmypassion

    Englishmypassion Senior Member

    India - Hindi
    But do we really say a "comic-book movie"? I think we instead say a movie based on a comic/comics or a comic-based movie. No?
  11. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I've never used "comic-book movie", EMP, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear it in speech. People sometimes invent unusual compounds if they can't think of a more idiomatic way to express an idea.
  12. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I agree with owlman5: It's a new concept for me, so I would not say "comic-book movie".
    But someone who knows about that kind of movie, perhaps a critic who writes movie reviews,
    could easily adopt that short form to refer to it.
  13. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    I think it's become quite common; there's even a website called I would write it without any hyphens at all.

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