Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

87

An em-dash is typically used to act as a comma or parenthesis to separate out phrases—or even just a word—in a sentence for various reasons (i.e. an appositive). Examples where an em-dash should be used: School is based on the three R’s—reading, writing, and ’rithemtic. Against all odds, Pete—the unluckiest man alive—won the ...


81

Both e-mail and email are in standard use at this point, although e-mail retains a vast majority of usage in edited, published writing according to my research using the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Here are the current results counts in COCA for various categories of English: e-mail email spoken 3535 711 fiction ...


60

The OED gives ‘username’ and has three citations, from 1971, 1997 and 2007, in support.


51

Both are correct and common. I'd recommend the shorter and simpler email. There seems to be a tendency to drop hyphen as a newly coined word becomes more and more commonplace: electronic mail → e-mail → email That is what I've read earlier somewhere, and looking around I now found at least this quote by Donald Knuth to support the claim: Newly ...


45

In English, there are three types of compound words: the closed form, in which the words are melded together, such as firefly, secondhand, softball, childlike, crosstown, redhead, keyboard, makeup, notebook; the hyphenated form, such as daughter-in-law, master-at-arms, over-the-counter, six-pack, six-year-old, mass-produced; and the open form, ...


45

The correct spelling in this case is username. The username is the (usually unique) thing you type in with your password, for example: bobsmith66. The user name is the name of the user, the user's real life name, for example: Bob Smith. User name is sometimes used for username, but occasionally it makes a difference, so be clear and avoid the ambiguity. ...


29

I've seen both "username" and "user name" used widely. Both are acceptable. As far as I know, techies mostly prefer "username". "User-name" just seems awkward.


20

Hyphen and dash are at least three distinct characters, and the hyphen is the shortest. Hyphens “-” are primarily used in compound words (a 20-year-old co-ed) and when a word is broken at the end of a line (which explains why word breaking is called hyphenation). Hyphens are always very short, narrower than most letters. There is never a space between the ...


17

Within the nomenclature of this site, upvote seems to be the accepted term. Otherwise, you could go for up-vote or vote up but not up vote. Upvote and the hyphenated up-vote work because they are compounds and create a new verb. Though the resulting word is not in a dictionary, it works because it follows logical/existing morphology patterns, whereby the ...


17

According to Nick Marten's The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary, a colon followed by a dash is a typographical mark that the OED refers to as the dog's bollocks: Citing usage from 1949, the OED calls this mark the dog’s bollocks, which it defines as, “typogr. a colon followed by a dash, regarded as forming a shape resembling ...


17

While I would say the third of your options, "non-defect-source-assesment processes", is most correct, I would strongly suggest trying to rephrase the subject for clarity. The hyphens can be used to indicate at what level the negation applies, so in this case "defect source assessment" is being negated, but "processes" is not. This is appropriate because you ...


16

The Chicago Manual of Style advises: When the second part of a hyphenated expression is omitted, the hyphen is retained, followed by a word space. The hanging hyphen sets the reader up to expect a series of hyphenated expressions, all of which have the same second part. If you omit the hanging hyphen, therefore, it's not clear that the series has begun ...


16

All are acceptable, so you should follow your judgement. British usage generally favours rather more hyphens than American usage; I'd use co-founder since cofounder doesn't look all that natural. I'd omit the hyphen in landowner, though, so it depends. Longman and Collins tend to prefer unhyphenated while Chambers, predictably, insists on the hyphenated ...


15

Asking for something that is both concise and comprehensive is, unfortunately, contradictory. The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition devotes one full page (5 numbered sections, 6.38-42) to "general principles" of hyphenating compound words, but then also goes on to list a 13-page table of common forms, when to hyphenate them, when not to, and when to ...


15

For the compound noun front + end it is front end: Noun front end (plural front ends) (computing) that part of a hardware or software system that is closest to the user. frontend and front-end are alternative forms. The compound noun front + end + engineering may be another matter.


15

It's (usually) intended as a form of light sarcasm or irony. James P is saying that technically, if you take the official definition of a depression, squint hard and don't look too closely, you can say with a straight face that 2012 is not a depression year; however, everyone knows that regardless of what the official figures may say, 2012 really is a ...


14

I generally use "email". I think people who work with technology use "email" and people who write about it use "e-mail" (though this isn't a standard). Google, Yahoo and Apple use "email". USAToday, CNN and the New York Times use "e-mail". According to wikipedia: There are several spelling variations that occasionally prove cause for surprisingly vehement ...


14

Hyphens are used to connect words when it's unclear which words are modifying which other words. Connecting the two words that modify each other with a hyphen can make a big difference in the meaning of a sentence. Compare these different ways of using a hyphen with the same words: A "big-time traveller" is someone who travels a lot. A "big time-traveller" ...


14

It depends on how you use it... if it's preceding the word it modifies, then it should be hyphenated: He paused for a bit, and then gave a well-thought-out answer. However, if it follows the word it modifies, no hyphenation is necessary: He paused for a bit, wanting to make sure his answer was well thought out. (My source: Chicago Manual of ...


14

I would call them hyphenated compounds, as opposed to solid compounds and open compounds. Note how they are not dashed. That's because a hyphen (-) is not the same as a dash (–, —, ⁓, ‒). Short compounds may be written in three different ways, which do not correspond to different pronunciations, however: The "solid" or "closed" forms in which two ...


14

I would say out-fish. There is no such word as outfish to my knowledge, and to "out fish" would be to expose hidden fishness.


13

Capitalization of hyphenated words in general is really more a question of style than anything else. In other word, choose a rule and be consistent with it: From Garbl's writing center: When capitalizing hyphenated words in a title, choose a style and follow it consistently. Simplest is to capitalize only the first word unless later words are ...


13

Yes, a two-word modifier (like this one) requires a hyphen, except that the commonly held convention is that words ending in "ly" don't (like that one).


13

The standard way to deal with this in English is your second example, "off- or on-topic". Another example of where the hyphen would be preserved for both forms of the hyphenated word might be pre- and post-, e.g. The pre- and post-match responses of the soccer fans were markedly different.


12

In a situation where you're using the phrase on time as an adjective (basically a synonym of punctual) preceding the noun, then it's fairly common to use a hyphen. Examples I was able to quickly pull up were things like On-time delivery is our goal. On-time flight departures were up 10%. On-time performance is an important ingredient ...


11

This is a very good question and is one that troubled me for a long time. Here is what the Fowler brothers say in their Kings English: TEXT 1: Within the last ten days two Anglo-South Americans have been in my office arranging for passages to New Zealand.—Times. SUGGESTION 1: Anglo-South-Americans is the best that can be done. What is really wanted ...


11

I do what you suggest and as logic dictates: hyphenate when used adjectivally. So, “he gave two thirds of his fortune to me“, but “our two-thirds majority on the board ensures a satisfying outcome”. More to the point, the New Oxford American Dictionary concurs on avoiding the hyphen when used as a noun: “one half of a circle”, “a third of a mile”, etc.


11

As an addendum to Monica's fine answer, I'd like to add that there is a third possibility: fusing "non" with the word it precedes. A typical example would be "nonrelativistic", which seems to be Merriam-Webster's choice. Similarly, one reads nonnegative, nonmagnetic, nonferrous, etc.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible