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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226 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
569 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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1answer
68 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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1answer
35 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
24 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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1answer
32 views

Closed, open, or hyphenated form for “null-space”

What is the correct spelling of the word "null-space"? Merriam-Webster puts it in a hyphenated form "null-space", (link). Wikipedia (link) and MathWorld (link) both put it in either open or closed ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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0answers
19 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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29 views

Use of apostrophe or hyphen in money amounts

I'm trying to write a sentence along the lines of "we ordered 200 pounds' worth of stuff", but using the pound sign rather than the word. Possible options: "£200 worth" "£200's worth" "£200-worth" ...
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0answers
17 views

What's the definition of a “compound noun phrase”?

As I understand it "a very hot day" is not considered a compound noun phrase, but "a too-hot day", "a far-out idea", and "the recently concluded meeting" are. The difference is not just a matter of ...
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0answers
49 views

Where to put the hypen (if any) in “status quo oriented”?

Writing the following sentence, During the negotiation of both regulations, bargaining power was distributed in favour of the status quo oriented states. I wonder where to put a hyphen, if ...
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0answers
49 views

How to use hyphen to form new adjectives?

Writing a chemistry paper I need to form an adjective for the following concept: TiO2 rich in oxygen vacancies. Is this the proper formation for an adjective intended to mean that?: ...
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0answers
213 views

Capitalization of hyphenated words with corresponding acronyms?

There is a related question here, though I am specifically interested in words that have a corresponding acronym. i.e. do the capitalization rules change on first and/or subsequent use of a term ...
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0answers
85 views

Using hyphens in numbers (British English)

I heard that there is some recent rule which says that you shouldn't hyphenate numbers such as "twenty-two". Is this true?
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0answers
69 views

What the correct syllabification for “condolences”?

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.