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This is a bit of a conundrum, if you ask me. The compound noun in my title, 'Fluid Flow' does not require hyphenation. On the other hand, this is then followed by '-Related'. If I were to put: "Fluid Flow-Related..." then it would look like 'related' only relates to the second noun, i.e. 'fluid'. So I am inclined to put "Fluid-Flow-Related..." Yet this arguably looks a little odd, and over-fussy - especially in a title.

If anyone can shed any light on this head-scratcher, I would be most grateful!

(NB: regarding the link to a possible duplicate thread - the solution which I am specifically seeking to avoid [in the question I have put forward] is the very solution which is suggested in the other thread; in effect I am actually asking how to avoid a two-hyphen solution.)

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    Possible duplicate of Compounds involving compounds – Edwin Ashworth Aug 25 '17 at 16:31
  • If you want to avoid the double hyphen, recast the phrase. As a bonus, you will avoid the ugliness of long adjectival words. For fluid(-)flow-related is ugly regardless of hyphenation. Avoid this whenever possible, just like compounds with -based and -like. Example: fluid-flow-related (problems/study/research)problems involving the flow of fluids, study on the flowing of fluids, research into the flow of fluids. – Cerberus Aug 25 '17 at 16:54
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If you want to avoid the double hyphen, recast the phrase. As a bonus, you will avoid the ugliness of long adjectival words. For fluid(-)flow-related is ugly regardless of hyphenation. Avoid this whenever possible, just like compounds with -based and -like. There is almost always a far less ugly alternative.

Example: *fluid-flow-related (problems/study/research)

problems involving the flow of fluids
study on the flowing of fluids
research into the flow of fluids

  • Thank you Cerberus (and Jessica d.). I agree that the phrase should ideally be re-phrased. This may be possible, although I am translating rather than writing, which means I am a little restricted in terms of options. – The Advocate Aug 25 '17 at 17:29
  • @TheAdvocate: I understand that translating may impose some limits, but I strongly suspect you can get around a construction like this, all the more so since it's typically English! – Cerberus Aug 26 '17 at 4:01
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I don't think it's uncommon to see 2 premodifiers hyphenated once (e.g. "quantum mechanics-related" or "panda bear-like"), but I would say, technically, sentences with that issue should be rephrased to use a single compound modifier (e.g. "There are several black-bean-like varieties of fruits.").

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    Hello, Jessica. Answers sounding like they are merely opinion are strongly discouraged here on ELU, however correct they may be. Please add supporting evidence if you can find any. / In this case, the answers have been given before. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 25 '17 at 18:27

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