I was reading the menu of a nearby cafeteria, and the following item caught my eye: fresh baked pizza by the slice. The past couple of days, there was something about it that bothered me.
No, don’t get me wrong. I like pizza just as much as the next person, but something about not turning fresh into an adverb soured me–freshly baked pizza by the slice anyone? After all, fresh is supposed to be modifying baked, which is a participle modifying pizza.
This morning, while I was stuck in traffic due to boxes of fruit sprawled across the freeway, I realized that fresh can also modify pizza. After all, there is such a thing as fresh pizza.
Perhaps in this instance, the person writing the menu wanted to emphasize the pizza is both fresh and baked at the same time, in which case, both words are modifying pizza equally and at the same time. If that were the case at the time of the writing, then adding a hyphen would alleviate my concerns. Would anyone care for fresh-baked pizza by the slice?
Update: I realized this morning that I forgot the convention of using a comma, which is probably more appropriate than a hyphen in this case, to separate modifiers. So, would anyone care for fresh, baked pizza?