Great sign, isn’t it? A zone free of body hate. Commendable.
Still. there is something about this image that makes me shudder, which probably has to do with me not being a native English speaker.
What is the shudder factor here? It’s in the last four words of the first sentence. ‘body hate free zone’. Of course, you will understand that this is a zone where body hate is not tolerated, it’s free of that. My native language however is Dutch, and, like the Germans, we’re not afraid of the occasional long word. Now this doesn’t mean we’d compact those four words into a bodyhatefreezone, as that looks kind of ridiculous, even to me (which means something).
What do you think if you see “body-hate free zone”? I hope it’s close to “body hate free zone”. But now look at this: “body-hate free-zone”. Oops… this changes the meaning drastically, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, you’re either in luck or you don’t see where this is going.
A body-hate free-zone (to me) is a zone where it’s free to everyone to hate bodies and that’s not a good place to be. Feel free to disagree but this is my blog-post and from here on I’m forcing you to read on until the very end!
I would rather see this as a “body hate-free zone”. That way, with just one hyphen, the meaning of the expression is much clearer.
This, once again, is a show of the power of words for me. Words can convey a meaning, but the way they are glued together (or taken apart) makes all the difference. And with that I’m not kidding.