The phrase I don't know how to hyphenate is

  • asset type specific keywords and patterns

and the negated version

  • non asset type specific keywords and patterns.

I looked around and found this Q&A How would you hyphenate a 4 word phrase?, which more or less answers my question. However, I'm using the phrases above as table headings in technical documentation, so I would prefer it to be more concise.

  • 1
    I'm inclined to say "asset-type specific keywords and patterns", where the compound adjective is just "asset-type". Would that fit the technical meaning?
    – BillJ
    Nov 9, 2020 at 14:51
  • The first 2 results from searching for the sequence "asset type specific" in Google Books are #1 ("predicative" adjective, after the verb) Objectives may in some cases be asset type specific (no hyphen), and #2 ("standard" adjective before noun) [Something applies to] each of the asset-type-specific loading methods. In that second context, the "compound noun" being modified is "loading methods", and all elements in the "compound adjective" are connected by hyphens. That's the default orthography. Nov 9, 2020 at 15:32
  • As BillJ implies, this is ambiguous. Can you put square brackets round closely-coherent words (eg [asset type] [specific] vs [asset type specific], please. Nov 9, 2020 at 15:40
  • Don’t do it. Rewrite it in English.
    – David
    Nov 9, 2020 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


"Asset-type-specific keywords and patterns" - keywords and patterns that are of the type that are specific to assets.

"Non-asset-type-specific keywords and patterns" - keywords and patterns that are of the type that are specific to non-assets.

Pub Med https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/97870/

Type-specific and non-type-specific reactions of purified M protein preparations

Nature Neuroscience https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-019-0479-z

Cell-type-specific profiling of brain mitochondria reveals functional and molecular diversity.

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