heaped-up/ heaped up

doudou8736

New Member
Hi everybody ! I'm new here, so excuse me if I do things wrong, but I have a question concerning a pun I don't really understand. I'm a French student and I'm reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Norton Critical edition). In the 'note on the texts' it is written: The first edition has "heaped up", while the third and Centenary editions have "heaped-up".
I understand, I think, "heaped up", that is to say when you add a lot of things, but what about "heaped-up" ?
Thank you so much...
 
  • doudou8736

    New Member
    The first edition has "heaped up", while the third and Centenary editions have "heaped-up" (p24); I have used "heaped-up".
    This is the complete sentence. The editor didn't write anything else. And I just can't see the differences between the editions because I have only one.
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Here is the sentence (probably).
    But, then, what reams of other manuscripts—filled, not with the dulness of official formalities, but with the thought of inventive brains and the rich effusion of deep hearts—had gone equally to oblivion; and that, moreover, without serving a purpose in their day, as these heaped-up papers had, and—saddest of all—without purchasing for their writers the comfortable livelihood which the clerks of the Custom-House had gained by these worthless scratchings of the pen!
    Source
    If that is the sentence, I think the comment is simply to note a correction. There is no change of meaning.
    It would be natural to write heaped-up with a hyphen in this context.

    Another possible sentence:
    Poking and burrowing into the heaped-up rubbish in the corner; unfolding one and another document, and reading the names of vessels that had long ago foundered at sea or rotted at the wharves, and those of merchants, never heard of now on ’Change, nor very readily decipherable on their mossy tombstones; glancing at such matters with the saddened, weary, half-reluctant interest which we bestow on the corpse of dead activity,—and exerting my fancy, sluggish with little use, to raise up from these dry bones an image of the old town’s brighter aspect, when India was a new region, and only Salem knew the way thither,—I chanced to lay my hand on a small package, carefully done up in a piece of ancient yellow parchment.​
     

    doudou8736

    New Member
    Yes, this is the first sentence you wrote Panjandrum... Thank you for the explanation!
    Can the meaning of a word be changed because of the presence or absence of a hyphen in English ? (I don't think it is the case in French)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Yes, this is the first sentence you wrote Panjandrum... Thank you for the explanation!
    Can the meaning of a word be changed because of the presence or absence of a hyphen in English ? (I don't think it is the case in French)
    We're talking about the meaning of two words, not a single word.
    The meaning of word-combinations can be very different depending on whether there is a hyphen or not.
    A light-blue coat is a coat that is light-blue in colour.
    A light blue coat is a light (not heavy) coat that is blue.

    Her face turned an ugly brick-red.
    Her face turned an ugly brick red.


    The examples are taken from the University of Sussex guide to punctuation.
     
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