When did the rules change for hyphenating the word "service." It should be hyphenated after the v. example: serv - ice.

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  • 4
    What makes you think any rule has changed? Do you have any examples to evidence that there was a previous rule that service should be hyphenated before the v? – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 21 '17 at 13:36
  • 1
    @Janus: This NGram seems to suggest that (presumably when forced by a line-break) ser-vice was by far the dominant hyphenation in C19, but throughout C20 it's been much more of a 50-50 split, with serv-ice sometimes being marginally more common.. – FumbleFingers May 21 '17 at 13:50
  • Line breaks occur between syllables. And a given spelling may have several pronunciations, with different syllablizations. – Hot Licks May 21 '17 at 14:09

The rule has always been to split words at the boundary between syllables. Service consists of the syllables 'ser' and 'vice' (Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster all agree on that), so it's always been correct to divide it as 'ser-vice'.

Depending on the style guides of particular publications, it might also be acceptable to divide it as 'serv-ice', but that doesn't conform to the standard rules.

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