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My question has to do with the word "prelaunch." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the preferred spelling is without a hyphen. In the following clause, is it correct to use the hyphen after "pre"?

… through the pre- and postlaunch process …

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Although the preferred spelling is without a hyphen, the hyphenated version is listed as a variant in Merriam-Webster. And in this construction, it definitely looks better with the hyphen. So I would write:

… through the pre- and post-launch process …

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The OED lists the adjective as pre-launch. Collins lists same as prelaunch.

And you have already posted MW's spelling.

My sense is to use either, but if you hyphenate one (pre-launch) hyphenate the other too (post-launch). Same for using no hyphens.

Even prelaunch can be found hyphenated and UN-hyphenated!

And pre is a preposition: OED

previous or prior to

Post can be a preposition in sense too.

Thus, the following would be correct:

… through the pre and post-launch process … (your example - without the hyphen) … through the pre-launch and post-launch process … … through the prelaunch and postlaunch process …

or:

… through the (pre, pre-launch, prelaunch) and post-launch (postlaunch) process …

And finally in a sentence:

During the launch process, both pre and post, the aberrations in X were observed.

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  • Are you suggesting that "...the pre and postlaunch process..." is OK? That looks wrong to me.
    – TonyK
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 17:46
  • @TonyK yes, it is correct grammar
    – lbf
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 22:05

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