Mail-order brides, anyone?

I hinted in yesterday’s entry that Swedish compound words should be hyphenated when split across text lines. Hyphenation can be used to abbreviate the first of two compound words with the same tail, but different heads. Incidentally, English has a similar phenomenon, e.g. “Would the first- and second-place winners please report to the medal stand?” Not hyphenating properly in Swedish can result in double meanings and misunderstandings analogous to those stemming from särskrivning, for example the following text from an advertisement:

Köp din brud eller balklänning till hyr pris.



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