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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4
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1answer
192 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. ...
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?
12
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4answers
4k views

How do I hyphenate an open-form compound word with another that should be hyphenated?

I'm confused about how to combine an open-form compound word with a word that would normally be hyphenated. There's excellent guidance for making the open vs. closed vs. hyphenated decision, but I ...
2
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
600 views

Can you outfish, out-fish, or out fish someone?

I don't even know what to Google in order to find the answer to this question. I'm trying to determine the proper grammar for outdoing someone in a particular area. For instance, in the previous ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Is it appropriate to use a hyphen in compound adjectives? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? I've searched the web and "English Language & Usage", but am having problems finding the answer to ...
3
votes
3answers
460 views

“Raspyness” vs “raspy-ness”

If I'm talking about someone's voice is raspyness or raspy-ness correct? The raspyness of Cobain’s voice adds another layer of complexity to the song. The raspy-ness of Cobain’s voice adds ...
9
votes
2answers
515 views

Multiple hyphens in a word

Is it allowed to have multiple hyphens in one word? I want to use the word semi-self-sustaining in the sentence However, the ability to produce semi-self-sustaining stations is possessed by up ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
58
votes
9answers
8k views

“Username”, “user name” or “user-name”

In computer science, you should have a username or a user name or a user-name and a password to be able to log into the system. Which one is the correct spelling?
6
votes
5answers
259 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

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"?
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Hyphenation of “balaclava”

Balaclava is hyphenated as: bal-a-cla-va, according to the online edition of Merriam-Webster ba-la-clava, according to the 1989 printed fourth edition of Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
994 views

Using hyphenated words in technical writing?

I always get confused when using hyphenated words in my research papers. Is there any specific rule for using hyphenated words? For example, which one of the following is the correct usage of co ...
10
votes
3answers
17k views

How do you spell wifi / Wi-Fi / WiFi? [closed]

This is probably related to whether one should capitalize Internet or not. I am looking for the correct spelling of wifi when referring to a wireless connection to the Internet. I want to tell the ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Should it be “mid 80s” or “mid-80s”?

When discussing temperatures or decades, should it be hyphenated? I understood that two-word adjectives need to be hyphenated, but why does MS Word think this should be, too?
9
votes
4answers
14k views

“Real time”, “real-time” or “realtime”

Which of real time, real-time and realtime is correct when you are talking about seeing something as it happens?
10
votes
1answer
471 views

Can a hyphen be used without anything on the right side?

From this page: [...] in early parts of this century when it was the most user- and hardware-friendly Linux operating system available [...] Is the user- fragment valid (outside this ...
1
vote
2answers
862 views

Hyphenation in compound adjectives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: To hyphenate or not? When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? In the sentence "Portland is known to ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Should “A-Player” Be Hyphenated?

Stupid term, but still: Is it hyphenated or not? Bob was really happy to have hired Alice; she was an 'A-Player' from the world of private equity and would add a lot to the firm.
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Shorebased, Shore-based or Shore Based?

What is the best or correct way to spell this adjective (e.g. shorebased training)?
2
votes
1answer
202 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
259 views

Hyphenating “Evolution”

I've noticed that how the word "evolution" is hyphenated according to Wolfram|Alpha doesn't match the ones I find on other sites: The Free Dictionary, and Dictionary.com. As I understand, the latter ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Why is it “grandfather”, but “great-uncle”?

I know that there are six forms of this word, but "great-uncle" is most common ("great-aunt" has a similar graph). Why is this, if "grandfather" and "grandmother" are common?
21
votes
4answers
14k views

Is it “front-end”, “frontend”, or “front end”?

Possible Duplicate: When to use a hyphen in writing a compound word Which is correct? front-end engineering frontend engineering front end engineering I looked over ...
0
votes
1answer
193 views

“Company-assigned” or “company assigned” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? In phrases describing something that has been assigned to someone, should the phrase be hyphenated or not? He uses a ...
2
votes
4answers
502 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Hyphenating spelled-out fractions with large numerators and/or denominators

I find myself in the awkward position of needing to systematically spell out fractions where the numerator, the denominator, or both have three or more digits, and I'm not sure about the hyphenation. ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it proper to use a colon followed immediately by a hyphen?

I have seen some writing where people have a list or a figure in writing and they will write something like this: The information is provided in Image 3:- Is that correct? Is this a British ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Is “webdesigner” a word?

I am a uh, designer of websites, and I would like to use the phrase for my profession correctly. Unfortunately, webdesigner is flagged by Google Chrome's spellchecker as a misspelling, and web ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
549 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
348 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" ...
20
votes
6answers
9k views

Appropriate dash to use when attributing a quotation?

If I’m citing a poem or quotation, what kind of dash precedes the author’s name? Example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted. . . .           ...
8
votes
1answer
846 views

Post-hyphenation of split compound words

Assuming that these two words off-topic on-topic must be hyphenated, which of the punctuations in the following sentences is correct? (crucial part emphasized) Regardless of whether it ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the use of a hyphen between “non” and an adjective strictly necessary?

Do I need to put a "-" between "non" and an adjective? As an example in physics we say "a non isolated photon", "non tight photon"... The context is very formal (paper publications and similar). Is ...
7
votes
5answers
851 views

Using the “ex” prefix on a multiple word subject

What is the proper way to use the "ex" prefix to more than one word? Examples: He is an ex-school bus driver. My ex baseball coach taught me. I am an ex-Fish and Game Warden. ...
4
votes
2answers
674 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

Differences between “coordinate” (n.) and “co-ordinate” (n.)

I can't seem to spot any differences or usages where one would use the hyphenation version versus the non. According to Online Etymology they both point to coordinate. I can see co-ordinate (v.) ...
9
votes
5answers
39k views

Which is the correct spelling: “Granddad” or “Grand-dad” or “Grandad”?

Granddad or Grand-dad or Grandad? Which is the correct spelling?
1
vote
0answers
258 views

Proper use of hyphens for compound noun 'system model driven approach' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How to connect a word and a phrase with a dash? Multiple compound words Should I use “ related” or “-related” I'm aware of the general rules ...
1
vote
1answer
576 views

Hyphenation of “prerequisite”

I'm proofreading my thesis, and found that TeX in its infinite wisdom had decided to hyphenate prerequisite as pre-req-ui-site. I've replaced it with pre-re-qui-si-te, but I'm a bit unsure what the ...
3
votes
5answers
811 views

Does “cost-benefit ratio” use a hyphen or an en-dash?

Should I write "cost-benefit" (hyphen) or "cost–benefit" (en dash), and why?
1
vote
1answer
116 views

“of the feudal Estates type” or “of the feudal-Estates type”?

In one Wikipedia page I read this definition: The zemsky sobor was the first Russian parliament of the feudal Estates type, in the 16th and 17th centuries. I don't understand, why is there ...
8
votes
3answers
481 views

Different syllabic boundaries in various dictionaries?

Consider, for instance, the word "university": American Heritage: u·ni·ver·si·ty Collins Cobuild: uni|ver|sity Merriam Webster: uni·ver·si·ty As you see, syllabic boundaries differ. I read ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
465 views

When and why did the em-dash and the hyphen supplant the semicolon?

It seems to me that semicolons are rarely used today in ordinary English writing - even in newspapers and books. They appear to have been replaced, in many cases, by em-dashes and hyphens (the hyphen ...