Jay Z retires his hyphen and no one really notices

Jay-Z has retired his hyphen.

Though his label only made the announcement this week, it seems the rapper has quietly been Jay Z for some time, but no one noticed.

The name went unpunctuated on his website and in the liner notes for 2011’s Watch the Throne, his collaboration with Kanye West.

Punctuation is succumbing to the pressures of the Internet age, and it’s not just hiphop artists: More than 15,000 words, including ice-cream, bumble bee and cry-baby, lost their hyphens in the latest edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Even the Brits, guardians of good grammar, have been quietly dropping apostrophes from signage and advertising.

For the punctilious among us, fear not: Jay Z’s wife, Beyoncé, remains as committed to her acute accent as the band “Fun.” is to its period, and Maclean’s, of course, to its apostrophe.