A hyphen is a symbol used to join two words or two syllables of a single word together. It is not to be confused with dashes or the minus symbol, as these are all longer than the hyphen and serve different purposes in language.

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Hyphenation and capitalization of “Great-Uncle” when signing books to my nephew's son

When great-uncle is used as a common noun, the hyphen and lack of caps make sense. However, when I sign a book to my nephew, is it Great-Uncle Don, Great-uncle Don, or perhaps Great Uncle Don?
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What do you call words that are separated by a hyphen?

What do you call words like one-note that are separated by a hyphen?
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Is it correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”?

Do I need hyphens? Should I use the indefinite article or zero article?
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adding a prefix “re” to a word, with or without a hyphen?

In science we often invent words, but that doesn't mean we know how to spell them. Most of the time words are invented by adding prefixes. In that case should there be a hyphen or not? Specifically, I ...
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273 views

Meaning of “more original computer science”

If I write Knuth has written more original computer science than anybody else does it mean computer science that is more original or more computer science that is original? It seems like it ...
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How to use hyphens appropriately when listing multiple hyphenated terms?

If multiple hyphenated terms share the same latter half, and I wish to list them without repeating that latter half, how should the hyphens be placed? For example: I will be investigating control ...
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Use of hypens with “auto”: autopopulate, auto-populate, or auto populate?

I've done a fair amount of research (like here), but I can't find any examples of hyphen rules with "auto". Microsoft Word doesn't take "autopopulate", but will accept either auto-populate or auto ...
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'well-organised' or 'well organised' - hyphenated?

Should I hyphenate the term 'well organised'? The context, if it matters, is the following sentence: For this role you should be well organised and analytical with some research ability. (I see ...
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352 views

What is the origin of the rule for omitting the suffix of a hyphenated word?

I can't remember where or how, but I was taught that one can/should omit the post-hyphen (suffix?) part of a word if it is being grouped with another hyphenated word with the same post-hypen portion. ...
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312 views

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)?

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)? Example from BBC News: Venezuela - a major oil producer - has been heavily affected by the fall in oil prices on ...
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62 views

Using hyphen to avoid repeating a word

In Finnish, 'linja-auto' is a bus, and 'rekka-auto' is a truck. If I were to write that I traveled with both I would write Matkustin linja- ja rekka-autolla. The sentence is equal to ...
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618 views

What is the difference between `-` and `--` [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? Is there any difference between: - and -- or in some cases, a long dash I have seen these two used lots of ...
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449 views

How to hyphenate a negated compound noun?

We have a term for a process, "defect source assessment". We want to describe a set of processes that are not related to that process. Which of the following (if any) would be correct? non ...
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“Runtime”, “run time”, and “run-time”

The CLR under .NET is referred to as the "Common Language Runtime." It seems that the convention is "runtime" for a noun and "run-time" for the adjective. Is this correct or should it be "runtime" ...
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Can there be a hyphen in “nonlinear”?

As the title says, I'm wondering if "non-linear" is an acceptable spelling of the word "nonlinear." A bit of research on this site turns up Is the use of a hyphen between "non" and an ...
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Which is correct, “on-line” or “online”?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line ...
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Is there a grammar rule behind the hyphen in the phrase 'one-act play'?

I noticed that the phrase 'one-act play' always uses a hyphen between 'one' and 'act'. Is there a grammar rule in play here, how does it work?
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Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re”

In semi-formal business writing in the United States, I often observe that writers tend to add a hyphen between a prefix and the root infinitive of verbs. In many of the cases, the resulting verb ...
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1answer
3k views

How to say “the project that we are working on” in a short phrase?

I want a short phrase for "the project that we are working on". Could it be "our working-on project"?
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2answers
4k views

Which is right: “drop-down” or “drop down”?

What is the proper way to write this term when writing product documentation? Hyphenated or not? drop down list or drop-down list?
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3k views

Ways to write “2000 year old”

Which of the following are correct and which are wrong? The 2000-year-old computer The 2000 year-old computer The 2000 year old computer The 2000-years-old computer The 2000 years-old computer The ...
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3answers
6k views

Hyphen or no hyphen when modifying an adjective with a quantity?

I have a sentence which has an object that is described with an adjective: We need to inform our interested patrons of this change. If I modify "interested" with "more" or "less", do I connect ...
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Noun + participle as adjective phrase

There's a construction in English that allows us to form a compound adjective from a noun and a past participle. Examples: This is a volunteer-built home. Our newspaper is student-run. ...
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1answer
863 views

Hyphenating “steady state” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? I am unsure if and when to hyphenate steady state (in a mathematical context), i.e.: We now calculate the steady-state ...
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2k views

When describing something's colour, would you hyphenate the words? Eg, “blood-red” versus “royal blue”

Generally, as a rule, I always hyphenate words to make them into a single adjective, so I've been putting "blood-red", "forest-green", "royal-blue" and the like, but the moment I typed "royal-blue", ...
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246 views

Hyphenating complex physical units

I have been reading about writing conventions for scholarly articles recently - specifically, physics - and have learned that when writing units, write them out if they are not associated with a ...
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252 views

Hyphenation of tidally enhanced wind mass loss

I am correcting my thesis on stellar evolution, and I was wondering what the correct hyphenation of 'tidally enhanced wind mass loss' is. The meaning of it should be mass loss originating from a wind, ...
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3 meter square area vs 3 square meter area

A. 3 meter square area B. 3 square meter area I’m wondering what the easiest way is to clearly express the difference between A and B above. In A, one side is 3 (meters). In B, one side is ...
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“on time” vs. “on-time”

I'm in the "on-time" camp when it comes to describing, for example, delivering something by the deadline. Is this the correct usage?
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5answers
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Does “cost-benefit ratio” use a hyphen or an en-dash?

Should I write "cost-benefit" (hyphen) or "cost–benefit" (en dash), and why?
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4answers
417 views

Is it usual to use “full-cry” as a stand-alone adjective?

Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Spellbound by Blondes, Hot and Icy” appearing in December 1st NY-Times jumps from Alfred Hitchcock’s favor of blonde actresses to the dispute of Hillary Clinton’s ...
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4answers
781 views

How to write dashes in “a 2-4-room-apartment”?

I want to write in the announcement a description of an eventual apartment, which I am searching as a rental. I am interested in apartments with 2, 3, or 4 rooms. How should I write the compound ...
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994 views

Hyphen in the noun 'switching-off'? Or gerunds of compound verbs, more generally?

I'm currently proof-reading my girlfriend's Ph.D. thesis (neither of us are native speakers) and I came across the following sentence snippet: "the switching-off induces eddy currents", and the word ...
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Is it normal to separate hyphenated words on different lines? [duplicate]

I'm typing in Microsoft Word, and it automatically separated the word T-shirt when it ran out of room: blah blah blah, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, I have a T- shirt leaving just the letter "T" ...
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1answer
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Does one hyphenate height when given in feet and inches?

In a work of fiction I'm writing, I'm using the colloquial phrase five-one to refer to someone's height. Should that be hyphenated as five-one, or should it just be written woth a space separating the ...
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3answers
181 views

Multiple hyphens make this phrase feel unwieldy… but are they right?

I'm writing a paper in which I refer to "natural-language-controlled robots" about thirty times. I'm curious about this phrase's hyphenation. I would write robots controlled by natural language ...
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1answer
680 views

Breaking last word in the lines [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the rules for splitting words at the end of a line? In printed texts, especially those with narrow columns, it's necessary from time to time to divide the last ...
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1answer
47 views

Age description and hyphenating

How would I say a toddler is 2 years and 7 months old correctly? Is this right: It is a two-year-seven-month-old toddler. Or do I need an “and” between? I personally think hyphenating here ...
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811 views

Is a badly-written book a book [which has been] badly written?

This question is prompted by the earlier question Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb? Please don't close this as a dup unless there's a later answer ...
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Hyphenation or blending

Are there any rules when to write a set of two (or more) words or abbreviations forming a name of some entity as separate, when to hyphenate, and when to stick them together? These are my findings ...
4
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1answer
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A What-Do-You-Call-It question

In a book, there is this sentence: "My mom would have put this in her What-Have-You-Done-Now? File, but it was SOS to me." -p 19, The SOS File, Betsy Byars. Is there a name for this kind of ...
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205 views

Is it an “Ngram” or an “n-gram”? [closed]

I made an edit to a question and the portion mentioning the n-gram chart was reverted. I was reading the Wikipedia article about n-grams and added the hyphen based on that usage. This article says ...
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1answer
475 views

May en-dashes be used in sports scores?

The accepted answer to the authoritative question When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? currently has this to say regarding the en-dash: An en-dash is use to connect values in a ...
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427 views

How does one correctly use a “-” outside of hyphenation - if at all?

When writing out emails I often find myself replacing semicolons with hyphens or dashes. For example, "Let's meet up at the pub - or would you rather go to a restaurant?" I feel this is wrong, but I ...
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1answer
655 views

Is “They all had 15 minutes waits” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” I was reading an article that used the phrase "15 ...
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HTTP-port or HTTP port?

Should I use dash in a port name, e.g. http-port, ftp-port, or it's more correct to omit the dash, like "http port", "ftp port"?
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825 views

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized?

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized? "a wireless g network"? "a wireless-g network"? "a wireless-G network"? "a wireless G network"? none of the above? Does a formal ...
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3k views

Hiscore vs Highscore [closed]

Which of these are correct? Hiscore Hi-score Highscore High-score I have seen all except the last being used.
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441 views

“Hardware-counter-based tools” or “hardware-counter based tools”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? How to connect a word and a phrase with a hyphen? "One-Day Only Promotion" or "One-Day-Only Promotion" ...
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4answers
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Use of hyphens when writing repeated compound words that have common parts

In my native language, Norwegian, one uses hyphens when stating two or more copulated compound words that has common parts (words). In a thesis I'm working on, should I write test specimens, test ...