The '40-Year-Old Virgin' Hyphen Affair


Bringing the latest Steve Carell comedy to your local mall is a massive undertaking, requiring the streamlined coordination of studio development, production, marketing and distribution departments. So it isn't unusual when some of the finer details might fall through the cracks say, the use of correct punctuation in a movie's title. The Velvet Blog would get the "copyeditor's twitch" every time it caught a glimpse of a poster or billboard for The 40-Year-Old-Virgin and see no hyphen where a hyphen should be. It wasn't until the oversight trickled down to the eagle-eyed home video department that someone finally caught the error and inserted the wayward linker onto the DVD cover. (Defamer held its nose and went along with the faulty punctuation in all previous posts, as we have a strict "official art is the word of God" policy.)

But were that the end of the story.

A quick visit to the official website indicates the Universal new media department has yet to get the hyphen-adding memo (note correct hyphen usage). But look in the lower right hand corner and the soundtrack appears to have the hyphen, yet when you click through to the ordering page, the hyphen disappears once again!

Clearly, this on-again, off-again hyphen business is a fiendish, subliminal attempt by the studio to confuse consumers into adopting their new language, Universal English, a grammar-free gobbledegook that massages audiences away from the nonsensical words coming out of their actors' mouths, causing them instead to focus on the pretty pictures dancing across the screen in their latest offering, The Producer's.