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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2
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2answers
160 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 ...
1
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0answers
17 views

Are 'short circuited' and 'short-circuited' both correct?

Are 'short circuited' and 'short-circuited' both correct? On some sites it is written as 'short circuited' ( http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae470.cfm ) and on some other sites it is ...
-2
votes
2answers
27 views

Hyphenation and Parallelism in Compound Adjective Phrases [on hold]

Which of the examples below is (or are) hyphenated correctly? Define first-generation and second-generation 5-HT6 receptor antagonists. Define first- and second-generation 5-HT6 receptor ...
10
votes
2answers
739 views

“Almost-finished” versus “almost finished”

I am attaching an almost-finished version of the report. I am attaching an almost finished version of the report. Which is the preferred form, (1) or (2)? Why?
4
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
1
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4answers
650 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Which is correct, 'self-employed' or 'self employed'?

In the sentence Self-employed [or Self employed] farmer Belle Vue has lived in the state of Washington all her life. should there be a hyphen between Self and employed?
23
votes
7answers
2k views

Is a lengthy combination of words with hyphens like “the worst not-technically-in-a-recession year in American history” a new fashion of writing?

I found a hyphenated word , “not-technically–in-a-recession” in the sentence of September 28 New York Times’ article titled “Why Obama Is Winning,” written by co-ed columnist, Ross Douthat. It reads: ...
0
votes
1answer
59 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'.
0
votes
1answer
24 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
51 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.
10
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3answers
29k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
65 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
783 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
30 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
53 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
21k 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.) ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

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" ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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.) ...
0
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
136
votes
1answer
150k views

When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?

I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen instead of an em-dash?
0
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2answers
42 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?"
5
votes
2answers
5k views

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. ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
285 views

To hyphen or not: cat person-turned-dog person vs. cat person turned dog person

Would it be: I'm a cat-person-turned-cat-and-dog-person. I'm a cat person-turned-cat and dog person. I'm a cat-person turned cat-and-dog person.
1
vote
2answers
82 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
247 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
113 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?
1
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2answers
74 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
53 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Correct spelling and/or hyphenation for electronic commerce

What is the correct spelling and/or hyphenation for the abbreviation of electronic commerce? I have seen the following variations. eCommerce E-Commerce ECommerce E-commerce
0
votes
1answer
57 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?
1
vote
1answer
103 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
240 views

use of hyphen to apply an adjective to non-hyphenated compound word

Do I write "non-power of two" or "non-power-of-two", where I assume "power of two" is a non-hyphenated compound word?
20
votes
3answers
121k views

Co-Founder, Co-founder, or cofounder?

I've seen all three used and there doesn't seem to be a definitive one that I can find. I'm hedging towards Co-Founder as it's a title, but any clarity would be appreciated. Edit If it makes it any ...
1
vote
2answers
252 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

How to capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title [duplicate]

How should I capitalize a word with an adverb separated by a hyphen in a title? e.g. "Make-up" or "Make-Up" (noun) "Strap-on" or "Strap-On" (noun) "Stripped-down" or "Stripped-Down" (adj.) ...
2
votes
2answers
110 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.
0
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
159 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
19k 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. . . .           ...
0
votes
1answer
84 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, ...
4
votes
4answers
13k views

Do I keep myself “up-to-date” or “up to date” on something?

Question is quite straightforward. I want to say that "I keep myself up-to-date on the latest technology". Or is it better "I keep myself up to date with the latest technology"? Thanks