1

I am in a bit of a quandary over conflicting results in dictionary entries about the inclusion of a hyphen in some of the words containing the pseudo- prefix.

An example of one of these words is pseudoscience/pseudo-science.

The Oxford dictionary's entry omits the hyphen for the word (i.e. they spell it as 'pseudoscience').

Meanwhile, Cambridge's dictionary entry decides to place a hyphen between the prefix and 'science' (i.e. they spell it as 'pseudo-science').

Another example would be pseudo-intellectual/pseudointellectual. Oxford includes the hyphen; Dictionary.com does not.

I usually check more than one dictionary to see if a word with this prefix should be hyphenated or not. However, I am not sure which form to use in this case. Is there a way of determining which one?

Any help is much appreciated.

0

There is no general rule for hyphenation when creating compound words.

When in doubt, I look it up. If still unsure, I use a hyphen, as I won't be penalised for it. If still looks wrong with a hyphen, leave the hyphen out.

(native speaker, UK. See author Lynn Truss for style guidance on hyphens!)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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