At which point can I make a line break in predesign?

closed as off-topic by Lawrence, Laurel, Mari-Lou A, David Richerby, FumbleFingers Sep 28 '18 at 18:00

  • This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about the English language. – Lawrence Sep 28 '18 at 15:13
  • 2
    Oh I am sorry I always thought it is about the English language. What is it about? – Ahrtaler Sep 28 '18 at 15:21
  • 4
    The EL&U community is about English. However, your question seems to be about typesetting. It might help for you to elaborate on your question to clarify. You can use the edit link to do that. – Lawrence Sep 28 '18 at 15:24
  • 1
    I hope this might help. It would be best and logical to choose to place the hyphen after "pre-" in order to preserve the uninterrupted meaning of the original unsplit word. By contrast, hyphenating after "Prede-", and then placing "sign" on the next line, would confuse the meaning of the original word. – user22542 Sep 28 '18 at 15:55
  • I am voting to reopen this question, because it is about punctuation. – michael.hor257k Sep 28 '18 at 18:39

The general rule is that words can be hyphenated at syllable boundaries. Many good dictionaries mark syllable boundaries to show you where words can be hyphenated 1.

Still, according to Merriam-Webster, predesign has only one division point at which a hyphen may be put at the end of a line:


Which seems rather odd, given that design itself can be split as:


Also redesign:


See a more general discussion here.

  • Merriam-Webster does not say it only has two syllables. If you look at the definition of words in that dictionary, the centered dot is used to delineate end-of-line word breaks not syllables: As it explains: "The centered dots within entry words indicate division points at which a hyphen may be put at the end of a line of print or writing." – Jason Bassford Sep 28 '18 at 16:04
  • @JasonBassford I believe the general rule is that words can be hyphenated at syllable boundaries. – michael.hor257k Sep 28 '18 at 16:15
  • Yes, that's true. But your statement that Merriam-Webster is indicating two syllables is false. It's not. It's indicating the end-of-line break. – Jason Bassford Sep 28 '18 at 16:18
  • @JasonBassford What would you call them, then (the two parts)? – michael.hor257k Sep 28 '18 at 16:19
  • 1
    I think the reason why Merriam Webster says it only has one hyphen-spot is because connecting pre - design is intuitive, as is de - sign. But seeing prede -sign is a bit jarring as one may interpret it as "prede-sign". Since "sign" is an actual word, one could be left asking what a prede-sign is. (Although de-sign, still, is easy to decipher when broken at the end of a line.) – Tommy Tran Sep 28 '18 at 18:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.