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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
4answers
4k views

Should anti- and counterclockwise be hyphenated?

I've got a document in which I'm defining counterclockwise and mentioning that it is sometimes also called anti-clockwise. The document is in American English, and generally in line with the Chicago ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Should I hyphenate “up-to-the-minute” in this case?

I have had a look at some examples on here, but I am still not sure. Should I hyphenate "up-to-the-minute" in this sentence? We can supply you with up-to-the-minute intelligence on distributors, ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I use a hyphen in the term “in(-)situ visualization”?

The term in(-)situ visualization denotes a visualization or graphics that is depicted in place, for instance, a sparkline that is embedded into text. As the dictionaries tell, the adjective or adverb ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Reset” or “re-set”?

As far as I know there are two different meanings of the word "reset": to restore an object/value to a previous/initial state - that's the most widely use of the word;  to set the value/state a ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“How-to” or “how to” in reference to tutorial [closed]

Should I refer to a tutorial as a how-to or a how to? Is there a grammatical rule for this?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Does conjugation reduction require a hyphen in the affected words?

In a sentence where we have two listed words that are hyphenated, we can omit the latter part of the first compound and still be grammatically correct: I don't believe we will ever find ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Hyphenation of the word “interferometer” in British English

How is the word "interferometer" correctly split at the end of a line in British English, i.e. what is the correct syllabification? I found two contradicting syllabifications: "in·ter·fer·om·e·ter" ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Should “pseudo” words be hyphenated?

While this question talks about the meaning of the word "pseudo", I'm wondering what the rules are for hyphenating words that start with this prefix. For example, would it be correct to call ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Non-preemptive? Non-pre-emptive? Emptive?

We can describe something as pre-emptive, no issue there. If something isn't such, how can we write that? Word gives me red squiggles on 'Non-preemptive', but this looks silly with a double ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Correct usage of “all expenses paid”

I am confused on how to properly describe an all expense paid vacation. Is it an all expenses paid vacation or an all expense paid vacation, and are there any hyphens between all, expense or ...
3
votes
1answer
398 views

In “type of guy” constructions, do you use hyphens or not? For example [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: To hyphenate or not? "Did you see this silly poll? It says that if I were a superhero, I would be Captain America." "Really? I don't know; I see you as more of a ...
3
votes
2answers
669 views

Hyphenation of parameter(s)

How is parameter(s) hyphenated in UK English? pa-ram-e-ter (Merriam-Webster) or pa-rame-ter (Word XP) or para-met-er (TCItex) or para-meter (OAL Dictionary) or pa-ra-me-ter (seems to bee the ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Are the hyphens necessary in “hard-to-find” or can they go without? [duplicate]

Is it necessary to hyphenate the words "hard-to-find" together when referring to things which have a property of being not readily located? Example: Adam locates hard-to-find items.
2
votes
3answers
4k views

How does the hyphen change the meaning in expressions like “high performance” and “high-performance”?

I'm wondering about the distinction between expressions like "high performance" and "high-performance", or "high level" and "high-level" and other similar pairs of words which are sometimes used with ...
2
votes
3answers
292 views

Is it “thousands of postmen and women” or “thousands of postmen and -women”?

Is it "thousands of postmen and women" or "thousands of postmen and -women"? Is the use of a hyphen correct in the latter case?
2
votes
1answer
706 views

Does one use a hyphen in between 'other' and 'hand' when saying “on the other hand”?

When I was typing this sentence "And on the other hand, some user actions don't trigger the same response." my spell checker mentioned that I might put a hyphen between 'other' and 'hand' and use ...
2
votes
2answers
772 views

Hyphens after the prefixes “non-” and “anti-” in mathematics

Is there a convention when to attach the prefixes non- and anti- to mathematical terms using a hyphen and when without? One uses non-zero but also noncommutative. Likewise for anti-. I no longer ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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.
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Property of “doesn't-pass-the-laugh-test”

What kind of property does doesn’t-pass-the-laugh-test have in the expression which escalates unreliability to the doesn’t-pass-the-laugh-test level taken from this article? Is it an adjective ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

“n-degenerate” or “n degenerate”?

In physics, we say that something is "degenerate" when it exists in more than one "equivalent" versions. What is the proper form of saying that there are n versions of X -- that X is "n-degenerate" or ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What's up with the hyphen in “orang-utan”?

For most of my life 'till about a couple of years ago, I had only seen the spelling orangutan written to describe those delightful red-headed apes from the tropical forests of Borneo. Lately, though, ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Usage of hyphen in “oft-cited”

The oft-cited first sentence of this work Why would you not just use two words, oft cited?
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Should there be a hyphen in 're-rate'?

If you have already rated something and then you want to rate it again, what is the correct term? Rerate or Re-rate?
2
votes
1answer
316 views

“30 day span”, “30-day span”, or “30 days span”

As in, "for each 30-day span, a late fee will be charged." I think the hyphenated version looks best, but is there some sort of authoritative word on that in a style guide?
2
votes
2answers
67 views

How do you hyphenate 'luminous' over 2 verse lines, 'lumi-nous' or 'lumin-ous'? Help

How do you hyphenate 'luminous' over two verse lines, 'lumi-nous' or 'lumin-ous'? Help.
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“40-50 years old” vs. “40-50 year olds” when referring to a group

In formal research, which is more correct, and why: the group of 40-50 years old OR the group of 40-50 year olds In any case the phrase in bold is to be treated as a noun only, as in: The ...
2
votes
1answer
791 views

When to use -, – and —? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? This is about hyphens (-), en-dashes (–) and em-dashes (—). When to use which one? To be honest, I always use ...
2
votes
2answers
242 views

Is it acceptable to italicize a compound descriptor instead of hyphenating it?

I'm having a disagreement about how to treat a compound descriptor like "This is one of those everyone-shut-up-and-go-away kind of days." It has been claimed to me that this descriptor can just as ...
2
votes
2answers
663 views

Should a hyphen be used when constructing words using suffixes such as “-ly” and “-wise” when the resulting word isn't in the dictionary?

Should a hyphen be used when constructing words using suffixes such as -ly and -wise when the resulting word isn't in the dictionary? For example: money-wise moneywise Which one is better?
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Should I say “3 half days” or “3 half-days” or “3 half-day”?

Should I say "3 half days" or "3 half-days" or "3 half-day"? I mean I want to refer to, for example, the a.m. of Monday, the p.m. of Wednesday, and the a.m. of Friday, together.
2
votes
1answer
270 views

Parentheses vs. commas vs. hyphen or dash in a list of people

In a list of people published in a bulletin, which is correct? We continue in prayer for: Amy B.(cancer), T. Jones(nephew of Tim), Lillie (on the death of her brother), Sally(Nursing Home), ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: To hyphenate or not? What is the proper way to spell "side dish"? Is it: "side dish" or "side-dish"? Also, Is it "ham-fried" or "ham fried"? Basically, when do you use ...
2
votes
3answers
842 views

Slash or hyphen in constructions that imply a combination?

Would you use hyphens or slashes in constructions that imply a combination? Examples: A yard group / yard steering conflict (meaning a conflict between a yard group and yard steering) A building ...
2
votes
2answers
430 views

Hyphenation of non-combat-related injury

As I understand it, we are to hyphenate phrases which consist of several adjectives strung together to form a single thought. I would, therefore, assume "non-combat-related injury" is the proper ...
2
votes
1answer
817 views

More dastardly dashes: what are the 'horizontal bar' and 'figure dash' characters for? [closed]

Having read another excellent answer regarding the use of horizontal line-like characters, I'm interested to know the meanings of the horizontal bar and figure dash. In the other answer linked above, ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

When to spell out non-alphanumeric characters?

If a term contains non-alphanumeric characters, when (if ever) should these characters be spelled out? For example: C++   written as   C Plus Plus ...
2
votes
1answer
226 views

Doubly hyphenated words

Consider the word quasi-first-class. Are the hyphens used correctly? Should the two hyphens be of different length to denote the distinction of the hyphenation? Is there a general rule to deal with ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

how do I use a hyphen when defining an acronym in the middle of the term?

Example: "Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level unemployment" I need a hyphen between "Area" and "level". Later in the document the term appears as "MSA-level". Should it be: "Metropolitan ...
2
votes
3answers
513 views

Noun phrase converted to verb, is a hyphen needed?

When "air kiss" is treated as a verb, as in "they air kissed", should it be hyphenated to "air-kissed"?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When adding prefixes to noun phrases, should you hyphenate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase When adding a prefix to a noun, I've been taught to usually ...
2
votes
1answer
671 views

Using hyphen and quote marks in composed term? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? I want to write a term composed out of multiple words, and I would like to know whether I have to use ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

How to capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title?

How to capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title? Ex. "Make-up" or "Make-Up" (noun) "Strap-on" or "Strap-On" (noun) "Stripped-down" or "Stripped-Down" (adj.) "Up-to-Date ...
2
votes
2answers
605 views

Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb?

Which of these are acceptable? Is one preferable over the other? "Chemically-deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." "Chemically deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." Also, is the title to ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Question on hyphenated words

My niece and I do the layout and editing for books. Lately, she has started letting her program hyphenate words at the ends of sentences to avoid the rivers of white you see otherwise. This has ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Is “teen-ager” correct? Still used? Etymology?

I was reading an article in The New York Times published in 1990 and came across the spelling of teenager as 'teen-ager'; is this American spelling? Archaic? The young man, who often said he only ...
2
votes
2answers
697 views

Correct hyphenation for conjunction of hyphenated compound adjectives

Consider the following sentence: The labour-intensive and time-intensive part starts tomorrow. I want to write this without rewriting the word "intensive." Is this the correct way to do it? ...
2
votes
1answer
496 views

Is it preferable to generally use nested prepositional phrases or a hyphenated adjectival phrase?

I've recently run into some sticky situations involving how to write out complicated concept descriptions. Take this example: Which metrics are appropriate for evaluating the accuracy of a ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

How do I write 'first and second order' properly?

I am writing about first-order and second-order quantities. Should I put one hyphen, as in "first and second-order", or two, as in "first- and second-order". Or should I do something ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“On or off campus” vs. “On- or off-campus” vs. “On-campus or off-campus”

It does not matter if a student lives __ as ... I'm writing a formal report. Which of the following should I use to fill in the blank? Which one is correct and more formal and looks/sounds ...