I know when to use ng and when to use nang. I also know the difference between pinto and pintuan. But is it spelled anu-ano, or is it ano-ano? And is “although” bagaman? Bagamat? Are they both correct? Beats me.

But I do know that hyphens are used for repeated words and that repetition necessitates likeness. So technically it should be sino-sino, not sinu-sino; taon-taon, not taun-taon. This rule, however, also implies that halo-halo (a combination of unlike objects) is different from haluhalo (our favorite dessert).

It reads wrong, and it looks wrong — who spells it haluhalo anyway? But experts insist that this isn’t a matter of preference. “Paano ka magtuturo ng language kung lahat ay tama?” asks national artist Virgilio Almario in a Wasak interview with Lourd de Veyra. Everyone, including the media, must follow the rules. So it should be ni’yo, not n’yo (rule on contraction); imahen, not imahe (rule on etymology); siyokoy, not syokoy (rule on diphthongs).

Continue reading “Postscript”