In Starbucks this morning for my weapons-grade cappuccino, I had to read the menu item a couple of times. The Caffè Misto was described as:
Half brewed coffee, half steamed milk.
The very fact that I had to read it two or three times while wondering who on Earth would want their coffee half-brewed and their milk not quite steamed suggested that perhaps the language should have been clearer.
But then, thinking about it on my way back, I had to admit that the ubiquitous coffee corporation is grammatically correct. I had been reading it as half-brewed coffee, half-steamed milk. Years of reading about hassle free motoring and low start mortgages had actually got me mentally hyphenating, and here, today, was the reason why that is a bad thing.