Posted by Jason Sheehan on July 11th, 2012
In news that I am sure will thrill all you grammar nerds to no end, we just got word that the new Le Bec Fin 2.0, under the command of Nicolas Fanucci, has finally dumped that hyphen from its name. Want proof? Check out the (as yet incomplete) Le Bec website, which we have been told was recently scoured of all hyphenated nonsense at Fanucci’s direct request.
Sources close to the grammatical kerfuffle tell us that such a hyphen simply does not exist in French, and despite the fact that “Le Bec Fin” is something of a colloquial construction (meaning, roughly, “the good beak” or “nose” or, essentially, someone with a good palate or fine tastes), such flagrantly incorrect dashery simply could not stand under the new management.
Since learning of this epic syntactic paradigm shift, the Foobooz World HQ Morphology Assurance Unit has been hard at work, checking through back issues of Philadelphia magazine in an attempt at hunting down any early hyphenation shenanigans from Le Bec and M. Perrier. In doing so, we dug up the original review of Le Bec, from back in 1974–in which the writer, Jim Quinn, did not use a hyphen in the name. Intrigued, we then pulled some adds (from 1971, 1972 and 1981), but found that all of them included the hyphen. So perhaps our man on Walnut Street got it wrong?
Oh, but wait… Then there’s this:
What’s that, you ask? That is the original Le Bec-Fin logo, from the door at 1523 Walnut Street. And can you tell me what’s missing?
A hyphen! So the mystery deepens…
In any event, what had been Le Bec-Fin for so many years is now simply Le Bec Fin–hyphenless and (at least according to one Frenchman) now finally correct. Except for one thing…
At least as of this afternoon, the sign had not yet been changed to represent the new grammatical order holding sway at Le Bec.
Le Bec-Fin [Foobooz]
Le Bec Fin
1523 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA
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