'Law Abiding Citizen': Can I buy a hyphen?

Picture 1Law Abiding Citizen, surely one of the dumbest movie titles of 2009, has been killing me not-softly since Owen Gleiberman’s EW review of it went up Wednesday afternoon. It is taking everything I have right now to not go into the backend of our website and add a hyphen to every instance of Law Abiding Citizen. I can’t take it much longer. I’m thinking I will just need to let it go, though. This is me letting go. I don’t want to get fired over this. There is no hyphen in the title of the movie. Who am I to scurry around that musty old claptrap we call a “content tool” and add punctuation marks according to my whims? It would be disrespectful of a proper noun. The illiterate copywriters who decided on it might be offended. I will just sit here and not add a hyphen to the title all over our website. Around 3 p.m. I can probably duck out to the art store and buy some spray paint so I can draw hyphens on the subway posters instead. Should I use caret symbols? I don’t think the job demands it.

PERSONAL NOTEPAD SECTION: Law-Abiding Citizen. Law-Abiding Citizen. Ohhhhhhhhh that felt good. I’m fired.

Comments (90 total) Add your comment
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  • DK

    THANK YOU!! This has been bothering me, too, every single time I see the title.

    • RG

      Lol you complained about a hyphen but there’s not supposed to be a comma between me and too :)

      • Chris

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOL! It can’t be bothering you!

    • Chris

      Yea You!

  • warped

    Oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one. (Love the reference to the editing marks as well).

  • paige

    horrible title! i have no care if the reviews of this movie are good or bad- I lost any interest in this film when i found out the stupid title… really really bad

  • Julia Park

    Ditto. And I will gladly join you with some spray paint.

  • C.J.

    Maybe the law is abiding the citizen. Did we ever think o that?

    • Stacie


    • Raj

      The law abides, man. The law abides.

  • DW

    You must go nuts whenever you see “Two Weeks Notice” playing on basic cable, when it should obviously be “Two Weeks’ Notice.” Hollywood hates grammar!

    • phil

      ACTUALLY judgement is an acceptable form of spelling the word. In some countries it’s the preferred spelling. Frankly, I don’t know why the e ever went away in the first place. How the hell does one pronounce “dgm” anyway??

  • Jamie

    YES! Thank you! Also, did you see the trailers for “Saw VI” that spelled “judgment” as j-u-d-g-e-m-e-n-t? THAT was killing ME!

    • jk

      Both spellings for “judgement/judgment” are acceptable.

      • John

        But only one is correct.

      • Mark

        My dictionary prefers both.

    • Brandy

      The misspelling, which is only an example of the difference between British and American English, doesn’t bother me as much as it does that there is another “Saw” movie.

      • Colin

        Same, but i cant wait to see SAW MCXXL!!

  • Susan

    title is the work of a slacker

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Hahahaha this sounds like something my sister would say. She gets mad whenever somebody on sports network says “Winningest coach” Winningest is NOT a word!

    • mscisluv

      I’m pretty sure “winningnest” has become acceptable when used in the sports world.

  • Eric

    It’s artistic. Like “Basterds.”

  • Jelana

    Yes, let’s assemble the grammarian hordes and use the carat symbol. Just look at the poster; subtlety is lost on these morons.

  • Flyer

    Annie, sometimes I think you’re the sister I never had but really really wanted. We both share the same…appreciation…for Maks, and now, once again, our minds are in synch! It’s not too late to take action on this. (Unlike when I waited far too long to write Michael Jackson, so the lyrics to “We Are the World” STILL read “We can make a brighter day, just you and ME.” You and I! You and I! Urrghh.) Anyway, just say the word, and I am right there with you on the spray paint caper. I’ve got a BA in English and I’m NOT afraid to use it!

    • Dee

      I also have a BA in English (Magna Cum Laude, in fact.) Frankly, Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World” would have sounded ridiculous “just you and I,” this is what is called poetic license. It is not that grammar is thrown out for the sake of art but merely adapted. I find it far more disgusting when publications in newspapers or magazines, or emails and notes from teachers have grammar, punctuation and spelling errors in them. I really cannot wait to see Law Abiding Citizen (underlined because it is a title).

      • Katie R

        How is taking out the hyphen “poetic license?”

  • Nicrox

    Grr, I’m with you, incorrect grammar is my absolute pet hate. I have to just point out to Jamie though that judgement is actually how we spell it over here in merry old England. It’s one of those US/UK things so maybe that’ll ease some of the pain for you.

  • Spooner

    It took me forever to accept “Honey I Shrunk the Kids.”

    • mscisluv

      Where is the comma?! That drives me nuts.

      • knowah

        I’m confused. The title of the movie (and movie poster) had a comma.

  • Jeff


    You are hilarious…good call!

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