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Do you hyphenate half-in half-out? He was half-in half-out. (of the window). Or half in, half out? Sheesh, nothing coming up on google. Any ideas/help please?

  • I'd use "half-in, half-out" or "half in, half out". But Ngram finds all imaginable variations. – Hot Licks Nov 14 '18 at 12:41
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I see no reason for hyphens. Then, again, I see no reason for many apostrophes in today's names, but there they are. (Saw one recently, Rickey la' Davis--really?!)

  • Okay thanks. In that case, if no obvious rule, I might go for hyphens cos I prefer how it looks to the comma. I like my words to look neat too! Don't know Rickey la Davis I'm afraid. Footballer Rickey L Davis? In which case please explain the la part... thanks. – Debrapples Oct 15 '18 at 10:15
  • No reasons for hyphens in general or in this specific case? – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 '18 at 10:33
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No hyphens, because "half in" and "half out" aren't words. Hyphens connect the parts of a compound word. The stress on the last part of each, "in" and "out", is a clue that these are phrases, not words. Compound words usually have stress on the first part of the compound.

You could add a comma after "half in" to clarify the structure, if you wanted.

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