We have been discussing about how to use the word "non-recurring" exactly as a menu item in a website.Does it make any difference with a hyphen in between? I want to know which is the right way of using this word in a menu. Happy if someone can explain the correct usage and why.
closed as off-topic by tchrist♦ Jan 31 '17 at 4:01
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic." – tchrist
It depends somewhat on the style guide used, but non recurring wouldn't be correct because non has limited meaning independently.
The Chicago Manual of Style considers non to be a prefix and tries to minimize hyphens for readability. As such, most words beginning with non are closed such nonplussed, nontangled, and such.
Hyphens are used when it would be confusing to the reader (they would probably have to read it more than once to get it) like your example above; although I would probably write it closed, nonrecurring, because the ambiguity is minimal. Generally, hyphenation occurs with words starting with n, or vowels. Non-user, non-numbered, etc., or when the root word is a proper noun such as non-British dealings. When in doubt, you can open a dictionary.
As there is no word “non” in the English language I would argue that “non recurring” is incorrect.
Whether you use “non-recurring” or “nonrecurring” is probably personal taste. In the general developement of words hyphenated forms tend to disappear as a word becomes more used and familiar. For what it’s worth, I would use the hyphenated form as I don’t consider this a common word. In fact, because of my age, I would always hyphenate the prefix “non”, but, as already stated, the language changes as tastes do.