Comments: Over and over

Looks to me like the hyphenated version is an adjective whereas the unhyphenated is just a prepositional phrase (I guess, since no part of speech is given for the unhyphenated). I.e., "an over-the-top show" but "so-and-so is over the top."

Posted by John at April 25, 2005 05:21 PM

> It seems a bit...excessive.

It seems more "over the top" to me. At least, that's the phrase I expected you to use--until you zinged off into left field with your own fancy-schmancy word choices.

Posted by Billy Joel at April 26, 2005 01:16 AM

John's almost certainly right. A quick scan shows that MW does the same for other phrases such as "across the board" and "around the clock".

Posted by Lance at April 26, 2005 11:38 AM

It's not like that in the New Oxford American Dictionary ... *cough* ... I could hook you up ... *cough*

NOAD shows it as unhyphenated, as a phrase at top1. Somebody at MW probably didn't realize that these phrases are usually unhyphenated as noun complements "Today's Six Things was really over the top!" vs. as attributive adjectives "That's the most over-the-top Six Things he's done yet!" This is a common pattern.

Posted by Erin at April 26, 2005 11:43 AM

How about:

(c) Best movie ever starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert Loggia?

Posted by Mr. Poon at May 2, 2005 01:55 PM
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