Is it spelled well thought-out, or well-thought out, or well thought out?
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It depends on how you use it... if it's preceding the word it modifies, then it should be hyphenated:
However, if it follows the word it modifies, no hyphenation is necessary:
(My source: Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition, sections 6.38–6.40)
That would be "well thought-out". See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thought-out. Adding "well" before "thought-out" does not require a hyphen because well is an adverb.
Whether preceding or following a noun, the phrase is open per Chicago MOS 7.85, "When the adverb rather than the compound as a whole is modified by another adverb, the entire expression is open." Chicago's example: "a very much needed addition."
Therefore, in both constructions, "His plan was well thought out" and "It was a well thought out plan" the phrase would remain open.
protected by tchrist Aug 13 '14 at 14:46
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