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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63 views

First strike vs. first-strike

I'm a bit confused about when to hyphenate in certain circumstances. Specifically, which of the following would I hyphenate? Launch a first strike Launch a second strike Damage first ...
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2answers
4k views

nonexistent, non-existent or non existent? [duplicate]

I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct? I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.
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2answers
84 views

Hyphenation of a multiple adverb-past participle phrase

I am editing a research article, and I came across a phrase that I am having some trouble hyphenating: "the detoxification of both endogenous and exogenous derived acetaldehyde." My thought is that ...
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2answers
468 views

Does “One in ten” require hyphens

In the sentence "one in ten people hate..." which is the correct way to refer to 1/10: "One in ten" or "One-in-ten" I'm not too sure if the hyphens are entirely necessary here. I have however seen ...
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1answer
272 views

Why multiple length dashes (em, en, hyphen)? [duplicate]

I'm wondering why there are three different sizes (perhaps more?) for lines that separate characters? I understand the grammatical usage (or rather, I could look it up), but the benefit to readers is ...
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2answers
121 views

What is the correct hyphenation of “human skin tissue emulating gel”?

A type of gel designed to emulate human skin tissue. So, is this a "human skin tissue–emulating gel" (en dash)? Or, is it a "human-skin-tissue-emulating gel" (all hyphens)? Does anyone know the ...
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1answer
483 views

“Would-be” meaning “potential”: must it be hyphenated?

Suppose I write, "Giving exams in class thwarts would-be cheaters." Must "would-be" have a hyphen? Or would it be preferable to write it without a hyphen? (It seems easier to read with the hyphen.)
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1answer
43 views

Is it “an urban scale study” or “an urban-scale study”?

I have been reading about the use of a hyphen, and guess this could fall under compound modifiers as explained on Wikipedia, so I am inclined to use urban-scale, but I am not totally sure. Should I ...
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1answer
259 views

Should 'in-principle' be hyphenated?

Is it correct to say, 'your loan has been approved in principle' or 'your loan has been approved in-principle'.
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2answers
332 views

Non in front of hyphenated adjective

If one wishes to add "non" in front of a hyphenated adjective, should one add a hyphen after "non?"
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2answers
2k views

Sugarcane or Sugar cane? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between "sugar cane" and sugarcane? Is sugarcane wrong? What is the gramatical rule for joining two names like that? I have found 13.500 entries on google for sugarcane, but 16....
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4answers
408 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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2answers
196 views

Should “Big Bang Theory” be hyphenated? [closed]

A juxtaposition of two of today's questions, Hyphenate or not and What does "zazzy" mean?, prompts this one. Shouldn't one use a hyphen? Or is there a pun I'm missing?
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3answers
175 views

Hyphenate or not?

Should I hyphenate the phrase "pedestrian detection algorithm" in the example sentence below? The algorithm is designed to detect pedestrians. However, I am worried that it could be misread as a ...
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1answer
105 views

What is the proper way to write about a “layoff”? [closed]

When talking about "layoffs", what is the proper way to write it? When referring to it as a noun, is it "lay off", "layoff", or "lay-off"? What about when using it as a verb in both present and past ...
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2answers
189 views

Hyphenation of “something-to-something”

I would like to know how to correctly hyphenate the phrase "something1-to-something2", where something2 is comprised of multiple words. To clarify, here is the example where something1 and something2 ...
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1answer
135 views

How to hyphenate names starting with “Mc”

Take a name starting with Mc, like McDonald. How do you hyphenate it? McDon-ald or Mc-Don-ald?
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7answers
5k views

What word to choose as the opposite of “self-aware”?

What word would describe the quality of not being self-aware? unselfaware unself-aware un-selfaware un-self-aware non-self-aware I am aware that it is allowed to have multiple hyphens in a word. ...
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2answers
605 views

“Year olds” or “year-olds”

I am writing about some leadership stuff, and I am trying to say that I am leading the 14-15 year old boys. How do I correctly use year-olds as in, "I was the adviser to the 14-15 year-olds." Thanks ...
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3answers
2k views

“built-in to the library”: hyphen or no hyphen

http://web.mit.edu/galib/www/FeatureList.html says, "You can use the types built-in to the library (bit-string, array, list, tree) or derive a chromosome based on your own objects." I've sometimes ...
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2answers
1k views

Hyphenation of “left hand side”

I would like to know exactly where (or whether) "the right hand side", "the left hand wall", etc. should be hyphenated.
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2answers
3k views

Space before/after emdash or not? [duplicate]

I have seen style manuals suggest that there be no space between emdash and the surrounding words. The following NY times article has spaces in the first sentence: "An expression of concern by ...
4
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1answer
101 views

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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1answer
1k views

Checkup vs Check-up [closed]

Quite a few people turned up for a 'checkup'. Is the use of the word checkup correct here? Microsoft Word and Firefox's autocorrect are both convinced that I should instead be using check-up, ...
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1answer
103 views

Commas in a hyphenated series

I would like to make a statement to the effect of: The coating contains durable wind-, rain-, and chemical-resistant compounds. Can someone please provide guidance on the proper use of commas in ...
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4answers
5k views

“Well-being” or “wellbeing”? [closed]

I was writing a document in Microsoft Word and I used the word "well-being". Word told me to correct it to "wellbeing". When I do, Word tells me to correct it back to "well-being". Which is correct? I ...
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1answer
50 views

acceptable options when dropping and including hyphen in some phrases?

There are many commonly used phrases where hyphen is implicit and it's common to drop the hyphen. p1: computer based approach p2: computer-based approach p1 is where the hyphen is implicit and is ...
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2answers
203 views

“5-min” video vs “5 min” video vs “5min” video

Example: Paul and Jake discuss the Frame Timing API in this 5-min video: … Which character (if any) should be put between the number and the word “min”?
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1answer
311 views

“Stockmarkets” vs. “stock markets”

I am having trouble with the difference between stockmarkets and stock markets — or should it be stock-markets? In some articles it is introduced as stockmarkets, but that term is not found in ...
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1answer
233 views

Hyphenation of SI prefixes

I constantly see variations in the hyphenization of words containing SI prefixes. Nano-, micro-, milli-, etc. But when is it proper to ditch the hyphen, and when should it be included? For example, ...
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2answers
465 views

multiple words connected using multiple hyphens or one?

There are many topics here related to multiple hyphen use, which seems to depend on various factors. human-voice controlled system human-voice-controlled system human voice-controlled ...
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2answers
3k views

Hyphenating measurements [duplicate]

A construction that I have been seeing a lot lately that seems surprising to me is "The 8-foot-long bridge ...," with two hyphens. It seems surprising to me (or maybe I'm just noticing it) that ...
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1answer
327 views

Use of a hyphen with the word “based”

I'm checking a technical paper submission and came across the phrase We propose spherical Gaussian based approximations to calculate this analytically. and wondering if this needs a ...
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3answers
45k views

Is it makeup or make-up or make up?

If you take a makeup test, is it correct to call it a makeup, make up, or make-up test? I know that makeup is also what some people put on their faces to look different. I think that make-up is what ...
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1answer
105 views

How would you hyphenate a 4 word phrase?

The context is "...how self-uncertainty affects attitudes toward non-group-identity-affiliated topics, such as..." For some more context, "group identity" is a phrase in psychology. So my two thoughts ...
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1answer
421 views

Numerical Range with En Dashes & Hyphens (a $3–$5-million-a-year business). Is this punctuated acceptably? [duplicate]

Is this acceptably punctuated? En dashes used between the numbers, and hyphens in the compound modifiers. I believe the two examples below are clear and concise. Do you agree with the punctuation (i.e....
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3answers
169 views

proper grammar of multiple numbers ordered sequentially specifying different things

I have a sentence submitted to me from someone else that says One case (8 - one lb. boxes) of... What is the proper grammar to say eight one pound boxes? I'm not sure what the best format is for ...
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0answers
27 views

Is “whitespace” one word or two? [duplicate]

I tend to write "whitespace" to talk about any negative space in type (in particular, the characters that cause it in ASCII & Unicode). However I have also seen it written "white-space" and "...
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2answers
384 views

Use of apostrophe in adjective phrase containing a possessive

I work and write for a tech company that has created many first-in-the-world technologies. In press releases, I often write something like “[Company name] today announced another world’s first with ...
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2answers
128 views

In a regular sentence, I could add more information by using dashes - like this - or commas ,like this, but what if I want to do that in a list?

I'm writing a story where only certain people know something about my MC. I list the people like this: Only my coaches, my best friend - Alicia, who’s also my cousin -, and her parents. I add ...
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1answer
255 views

What is the correct way to use hyphens when saying “eight to ten week cycle”? [duplicate]

A friend has asked about this and so far most seem to believe the best answer is: At the end of an eight- to ten-week project period, the team reports their findings and recommendations to their ...
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1answer
913 views

What does this correction mark mean? (A vertical dash through a hyphen, along with vertical parentheses)

I spoke with a teacher about an essay I wrote recently. We talked through certain parts which couldn't be described by squiggles and dots in red ink. This helped me, but I'm having difficulty now with ...
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1answer
234 views

If I hyphenate first-order conditions should I also hyphenate higher-order conditions?

It seems to me that the hyphens in "first-order conditions" and "second-order conditions" are correct, but I'm editing an article that also mentions "higher-order conditions" and "lower-order ...
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2answers
207 views

Should “building blocks” be hyphenated? [duplicate]

Should "building blocks" be hyphenated? I am using the two words (or perhaps one word) as a noun. E.g., These axioms serve as the building-blocks of the English language. I understand that ...
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2answers
109 views

How to split a multiple word phrase and another word/phrase [closed]

I work in a global company that with many Japanese people has a general rule to add "san" to the names of people. With so many names from different countries and different order rules it is hard to ...
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3answers
3k views

Is it “re-offend” or “reoffend”? [closed]

I want to know whether there is a hyphen in the word re-offend, or if it is spelt reoffend. I looked in Oxford English dictionary and the word "reoffend" appears, but then I checked Merriam-Webster ...
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3answers
173 views

How should “condolences” be hyphenated?

My word processor soft-hyphenated condolences as condolenc-es. Does this look natural to the eyes of native speakers? I, a non-native speaker, think it should be condolen-ces.
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1answer
53 views

Early hyphenation library - 80s - 90s [closed]

I recall back in the late 1980s and perhaps early 1990s a library that was available in a number of forms that achieved excellent hyphenation in many/most languages. I seem to remember it was called ...
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2answers
2k views

How do you capitalize and hyphenate “at a glance” in a title?

I'd like to use the following as a section title: Module At-a-Glance Is it capitalized and punctuated properly?
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1answer
459 views

Is this phrase “2- or 4-person” correct? [duplicate]

When listing a numerical hyphenation...,for example "2- or 4-person", does the first number have a unconnected hyphen? What is the general rule?