42

The easiest thing to do, and the only way of being sure you agree with the authorities, is to look words up in the dictionary. Some of the hyphenations currently in American dictionaries make no sense at all. For example, the reason that prai-rie and fair-y are hyphenated the way they are seems to be that 150 years ago, the editors of Webster's dictionary ...


40

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, as quoted by the site below, you hyphenate if the compound adjective is before the noun and don't hyphenate if it is after the noun. With compound adjectives formed from the adverb well and a participle (e.g., well-known), or from a phrase (e.g., up-to-date), you should use a hyphen (or hyphens) when the ...


31

I like the spelling convention set in GCC Coding Convention: "front end" (noun) "front-end" (adjective)


31

Burchfield's 1998 edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage says under hyphen, listing its uses: 6 To represent a common second element in all but the last word of a list, e.g. two-, three-, or four-fold. This usage is perfectly acceptable; and in some cases it's really essential as Edwin Ashworth has commented: We really have to prepare the ground- ...


21

According to this Google Ngram, both E-Commerce and E-commerce are valid and interchangeable: Likewise, when not beginning a sentence (or in a headline, etc.), the term e-commerce is not capitalized: e-commerce |ˈēˌkämərs|: (noun) commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet. See what happens when e-commerce is added to the ...


21

BEFORE a noun, "almost-finished' is better, since it emphasizes that 'almost' is qualifying 'finished', not 'report'. Not important in this case, but compare 'longest living animal' with 'longest-living animal'.


19

I (as a programmer and linguist) would pretty much always use runtime. I think you might be building too much into the idea that runtime is an 'adjective' in compounds such as runtime environment. The word still remains more noun-like than adjective-like[*] in such cases and there's little motivation for inventing a special spelling in that case. And if you ...


18

This is hardly some sort of unique New Yorker idiosynchrasy. Rather, it’s merely an older tradition. Writing Zoë, Noël, reëlect, coöperate, zoölogical, mosaïc, aïoli, cacoëpistic, hyperoödon, haliæëtos, naïve, Moët, naïveté, Thaïs, monoïdeism, panzoöty, Laocoön, langue d’oïl, Boötes, faröelite, caïque, &c is actually an older orthographic style. ...


18

This is not really an answer because I'm also lost but I'd like to point out something that seems to be overlooked in these three ways to write "runtime", "run time" or "run-time". I would risk saying that all three mean different things, that I believe should be applied in different cases: run time: this is how much time your program took to execute. If, ...


17

The Chicago Manual of Style has these guidelines: For compounds formed with fractions: The noun form is open (a half hour) The adjective form is hyphenated (a half-hour session) For simple fractions: Hyphenated in noun, adjective, and adverb forms, except when second element is already hyphenated (one-half; one and three-quarters;...


17

It's (usually) intended as a form of light sarcasm or irony. James P is saying that technically, if you take the official definition of a recession, squint hard and don't look too closely, you can say with a straight face that 2012 is not a recession year; however, everyone knows that regardless of what the official figures may say, 2012 really is a ...


17

While I would say the third of your options, "non-defect-source-assesment processes", is most correct, I would strongly suggest trying to rephrase the subject for clarity. The hyphens can be used to indicate at what level the negation applies, so in this case "defect source assessment" is being negated, but "processes" is not. This is appropriate because you ...


17

"almost-finished" is a compound adjective. It is the correct way to say "I am attaching an almost-finished version of the report". "almost finished" is not correct in this case. Here's a sentence where you would use "almost finished" without the hyphen: "I am almost finished with the work."


17

Many writers would use a suspended hyphen. Medium- to long-term. You're allowed some discretion on this matter, as reputable writers are not entirely homogenous in their hyphen usage. Between the two that you suggested, the second seems to be more defensible. Writing "medium-to-long term" is probably not achieving what you're trying to achieve with the ...


16

One thing some style manuals suggest in this case is to use an en-dash rather than a hyphen. So North America–based company rather than North America-based company. The longer dash signals that it shouldn't be parsed as "America-based".


16

The Chicago Manual of Style notes: With the exception of proper nouns (such as United States) and compounds formed by an adverb ending in ly plus an adjective, it is never incorrect to hyphenate adjectival compounds [of which object-oriented is one] before a noun. When such compounds follow the noun they modify, hyphenation is usually unnecessary,...


15

English documents written in India often use :-. For example: Tatkal tickets shall be issued only on production of one of the ten prescribed proofs of identity shown under (as mentioned in Commercial Circular No.68 of 2012 issued vide letter No.2011/TG-I/20/P/ID dated 01.11.2012) as per procedure explained below:- The details of medical camps conducted by ...


15

Bryan Garner, Garner's Modern American Usage (2003) has a useful discussion of this problem in his lengthy coverage of phrasal adjectives: E. The Compound Conundrum. When the first or last element in a phrasal adjective is part of a compound noun, it too needs to be hyphenated: post-cold-war norms, not post-cold war norms. Otherwise, as in that example, ...


14

According to dictionary.com, it should be two separate words "time slot". This useful article on compound words offers the following advice: Many of them are found in the dictionary and are not subject to our interpretation, our judgment, or our whim. Start with your dictionary before applying any other guidelines. I would be inclined to follow that ...


13

There's a lot to hyphenation rules. There's even more to hyphenation styles, because there's some leeway in the rules but you want to be reasonably consistent in how you handle that lee-way. For this reason, I'm going to just take the case of a coinage for a modifier, as both case-by-case and crack-resistant are examples of that case, and compound nouns, as ...


12

To answer the question directly: yes, it is perfectly correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”. However, when not in prefix position, it would be “a layer that’s 5 mm thick”, this time without any hyphens. The accepted answer appears to be wrong in its assertion that there is something wrong with writing “a five-millimeter-thick layer”. There isn’t. Here ...


12

I'd say "Our current project." Or, in a little context, "We asked our supervisor if we could have more time to work on our current project."


12

Short answer: neither. The word you want is nonexistent. Longer answer: You can actually add a "non" prefix to any word to make up something new, even if it's not in the dictionary. (If you do so, common style says to use a hyphen.) After having eaten an endless supply of apples, she was pleased to finally be handed a "non-apple". You ...


11

Our tech magazine switched from e-mail to email (and from e-book to ebook) within the past year, over the vigorous opposition of the copy editors. The copy editors' position was that e-mail preserves the special status of the "e" as the sole surviving remnant of an entire word (electronic), as do the spellings A-bomb ("A" for atomic), B-boy ("B" for break),...


11

Of course the context matters. I think it tells you whether a hyphen is needed or not. Use a hyphen with compound adjectives (such as well-organized) when they precede a noun. It was a well-organized meeting. When the description follows the noun, no hyphen is necessary. Her office is well organized. In your example, I would not hyphenate the phrase.


11

Looking through Google Books, it appears that a few authors do use open-source as a verb. Some of them use it within quotes, while others use a hyphen-less one word variant. It has also made its way into Wiktionary, but, just to make things difficult, is accompanied by an alternative form. I think it might be OK to use open-source as a verb and depending on ...


11

When you use a quantity and a unit as an adjective, the unit is singular: A 200-pound man... A 280-calorie snack... When the unit is used as a noun, it's plural (unless the quantity is one, of course): 200 pounds of man crashed down on me... I enjoyed those 280 calories...


11

Usually you can just slap re on the front of a word, without a hyphen, and you will be understood. There’s no need for the term to have made its way into an “authoritative” dictionary, even if there were such a thing. There are circumstances in which the hyphen is desirable: if your new word with re collides with an established “re” word which has a ...


11

As with most issues involving English spelling, there is no right or wrong here, only preferences that vary substantially by region, by publisher, and by writer, so much so that is easy, maybe even trivial, to find living counterexamples of any posited general rule here. But in general, British publishers tend to be more tolerant of the hyphen than American ...


11

The rule-of-thumb I've found in researching this issue, (though no reference to a specific style guide was referenced – one site linked here) is if Latin and other foreign phrases are not hyphenated in their original language, then they are not hyphenated in English.


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