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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Confusion with capitalization and hyphenation of a title

I am excited to post my first question in English StackExchange! I am working on a programming language with falls under the term of "domain-specific language". I want to use this term in the title "...
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2answers
144 views

Slashes for hyphens in compound modifiers

Take the phrase "a joint FBI-SFPD task force" for example. According to my boss, a slash can stand in for the hyphen. I tend to disagree. Is this grammatically correct? Stylistically acceptable?
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30 views

Why are open source and closed source usually not hyphenated? Should they be? [on hold]

Typically, English writers do not hyphenate open source or closed source when referring to computer software. Why is this? Should they be hyphenated or is it best to not use hyphens for these terms?
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33 views

“off-duty” vs “off duty” [on hold]

Is the hyphen application as indicated in the following examples? An off-duty cop stopped the crime. I will be off duty tomorrow.
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36 views

Can one use a hyphen to form 2 words with same prefix

Consider this part of a sentence: [...] the development of neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders. I'm wondering if it is acceptable to omit the "neuro" prefix before "inflammatory" ...
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1k 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
80 views

Suspended hyphen example

As far as I've seen, it seems like whether or not one should use suspended hyphens is determined on a mostly ad-hoc basis. So, I was wondering if someone could give me advice on whether or not the ...
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3answers
896 views

Timestep, time step, time-step: Which variant to use?

I am writing a piece on integration of differential equations. One of the words that I have to use frequently is "timestep" (however it is written), i.e. a step forward in the "simulated" time. There ...
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15 views

Capitalization of Hyphenated Words at the Beginning of Sentences

Normally, when you start a sentence the first letter of the word is capitalized. What do you do with hyphenated words? Do the first letters of each hyphenated member get capitalized too? And then, by ...
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1answer
29 views

Is semiannual one or two words? Or both? Or hyphenated?

I've looked on Google and StackExchange for the answer and am having no luck. This HAS to have been answered and asked before now... so I'm sorry in advance if this is a bad question or a repeat.
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2k 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 ...
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2answers
9k views

What’s the correct hyphenation in “trying to be a decision maker”?

Which of these three ways of writing it is right: decision maker (a space separates the two pieces) decision-maker (a hyphen separates the two pieces) decisionmaker (nothing separates the two pieces)...
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2answers
367 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
34 views

Why hyphenate no one: no-one? [duplicate]

Came across this article today: New York shooting: Gunfire at Irving Plaza leaves one person dead which had the following sentence: No-one has been arrested and the motive for the shooting is ...
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3answers
144 views

How should a multiple-word noun be punctuated within a compound adjective?

I would like to use a noun made of multiple words (like particle board, Mount Everest, or windscreen wiper) in a compound adjective with a hyphen. But I don't know how to hyphenate such a composition....
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3answers
63 views

Hyphenating “process” in the meaning “series of actions” in AmE

Where to break the word "process" at the end of a line in the meaning "a series of actions" in US English? Dictionaries disagree on this (or I am misinterpreting what they say): Merriam-Webster ...
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3answers
60 views

Hyphenation in “First computer crime targeted laws”

I am preparing a presentation for my English class. My question is whether the phrase First computer crime targeted laws should have any hyphens in it such as computer-crime-targeted
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2answers
52 views

Which spelling is correct: “Re-order” or “Reorder”

I'm looking to label an action button that would allow a user in a software interface to enable reordering (sorting, not re-purchasing) of items in a list. Re-order vs. Reorder When first presented ...
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3answers
167 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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4answers
5k 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 ...
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1answer
14 views

What's the correct way of using hyphens while wrting time with words (e.g. 7:20)?

Really confused with how hyphens must be used in the below examples: 7:20 - "seven twenty" or "seven-twenty"? 7:25 - "seven twenty-five" or "seven-twenty-five"?
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4answers
13k views

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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1answer
41 views

Compound adjective that contains an acronym + parentheses?

Hey fellow grammar nerds! I need opinions. When using a compound adjective that contains an acronym, where do you place the hyphen and parentheses? I am describing a gene which contains cAMP response ...
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2answers
746 views

Confusion over the general rules governing the use of the hyphen in English [duplicate]

I often get confused by the rules for using hyphens. According to this entry from the Oxford Dictionaries web site, I must always use a hyphen in these cases: Hyphens are used in many compound ...
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2answers
34 views

Would you ever use “closed-loop” as an adjective without a hyphen?

Is it correct to use "closed-loop" as an adjective without a hyphen? Example: Partners can serve as a recycling hub and sell the products in their stores, telling a closed-loop story. Our ...
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1answer
50 views

Non-sea salt sulfate or non-sea-salt sulfate?

Atmospheric sea salt particles contain sulfate but also other sources of atmospheric sulfate exist. In scientific studies on particulate sulfate air pollution it is common to split between sulfate ...
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39 views

Hyphenation of words like ‘waterproof’

The Oxford dictionary states that most compound adjectives made from a noun and an adjective should be hyphenated (e.g. ‘accident-prone’, ‘camera-ready’). On the other hand, its entry for the word ‘...
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2answers
111 views

Other special hyphenation examples than eight-teen

According to The TeXbook [Don Knuth, 1984], solution to Exercise 14.8, the word eighteen should be hyphenated eight-teen. It is, indeed, standard practice in pre-reform German to contract triple ...
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1answer
44 views

Hyphenation with numbers [closed]

I know that a compound adjective preceding a noun would require hyphenation in most circumstances; however, this particular phrasing has me doubting myself and I'd just like some clarification, if ...
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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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1answer
82 views

How to “hyphenate” the word “standardize”?

I don't really know if the term "hyphenate" is the correct here, I use it because of my LaTeX usage. What I mean (and if there is a word for this, please let me know) is: how to break "standardize" ...
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7answers
38k 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? For example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted....  —John ...
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170 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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6k views

Is grownup, grown up, or grown-up the correct usage (as a noun)? [closed]

When used as a noun (meaning an adult), is "grownup", "grown up", or "grown-up" more appropriate?
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1answer
73 views

Must I hyphenate my “write-up”? [closed]

I'm aware that as a verbal phrase, "write up" should never be hyphenated, nor should it be combined into one word. You may write up a document, or you may write something up, but you can never ...
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0answers
16 views

Separate or join words [duplicate]

I've read some answers abour when to join two words and when to write them separate, and when to write them with a hyphen. "Username", "user name" or "user-name" Which ...
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1answer
120 views

“something come something”, or foo-come-bar

Is the bold construct below valid? Does it have a name? What sort of punctuation would you use for it? Fnord, the something-come-such-and-so, was under development for a year or so. It suffered a ...
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4answers
2k 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 "...
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1answer
46 views

Hypenating in the middle of a person's name [closed]

The editor or a Club bulletin split's a person's name if it comes at the end of the line in an article. I do not believe this is grammatically correct, but I cannot find a ruling in writing to ...
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1answer
138 views

Should one hyphenate 'shoulder width' in this context?

I believe that in this context: Place your feet shoulder-width apart. it makes sense to hyphenate to avoid confusion. I see that apart is listed as an adverb in the dictionary and width as a ...
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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2answers
55 views

Rules on hyphenating phrases

I see a ton of questions on hyphenated words, specifically, but nothing on the more general question how/when they're supposed to be used vs omitted. Another great answer gives some general rules on ...
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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 ...
3
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2answers
268 views

Reimplement or re-implement? [duplicate]

Which form is correct (or more correct): reimplement or re-implement? And to extend the question a little bit, are there any rules concerning both, e.g. re-scan or rescan, re-evaluation or ...
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2answers
41 views

Is this sentence correct?

Sentence: My friendly but silly, creepy but inviting neighbor waited for me in the parking lot. My concern was whether I needed some hyphens for the modifiers in "friendly but silly" and "creepy but ...
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4answers
84 views

Hyphens in “nationally top ranked” [duplicate]

In order to combine "nationally" and "top-ranked" would the resulting qualifier be written as "nationally-top-ranked" or "nationally top-ranked"? Edit: I do not immediately see the applicability of ...
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3answers
662 views

Should “no longer” have a hyphen?

I have always put a hyphen in the fragment "no-longer X", but neither the BBC website or the Economist seem to put one in. I always thought that The piece of string was no longer than five inches. ...
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2answers
209 views

“It's 20 meters thick” versus “It's a 20-meter-thick layer.”

I know that both of these expressions are correct, but I'd like to be able to explain exactly why the first one is correct. Of course compound adjectives are hyphenated (second expression), but in the ...
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1answer
53 views

high throughput, high-throughput or high through-put [duplicate]

All these three forms, high throughput, high-throughput or high through-put, are used in the scientific community by Google Scholar searching. Where is the hyphen should be? Is there a specific ...