Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Man Eating Crocodile

I created these two images to illustrate a point about punctuation in a future article for AzarGrammar.com, the website I manage at work. I generally don't like to work from photos, but Dan refused both to eat or to be eaten by a crocodile in the interest of creating authentic sketches from life. So I had to resort to photo references for these. 

Man eating crocodile

Man-eating crocodile

Richard Firsten is the author of the article and asked me to do the illustrations. These are his words from the article regarding the importance of the hyphen:
Punctuation marks were created to aid readers, to make phrasing clearer and more easily recognizable for readers. Here’s a case in point. If I write here Man Eating Crocodile, which picture reflects what I’ve written?
In actuality, it’s the picture on top that depicts what I’ve written, but a show entitled Dangerous Encounters on the cable network NatGeoWild (National Geographic Wild) used that title for one of its episodes. Of course they should have written Man-Eating Crocodile. That hyphen shows readers that man and eating are being used together as a single adjective to describe a ferocious crocodile. The hyphen helps readers to understand that and phrase it properly in their minds. In fact, the rules of prosody in English dictate a change in how these words should even be spoken if the hyphen is present or absent. (I’m going to use capital letters and bold face to show which words or parts of words receive more or less equal stress in the flow of speech): 

                                    man eating crocodile = MAN EATing CROCodile
                                    man-eating crocodile = MAN eating CROCodile


  1. Illustrator at heart! Great illustrations!

  2. Thanks! These were really fun for me.

  3. Now you're a book illustrator!!! Where will this sketching hobby go? The sky's the limit.