Author Topic: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?  (Read 420 times)

idontknowyet

Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« on: October 14, 2018, 02:40:55 AM »
Word seems to love hyphens. It wants me to hyphenate half of the words I write. Most times I ignore the suggested hyphens or write around them. Do you use hyphens or avoid them like the plague?  :heart:     :icon_think: :confused:
 

Llano

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 02:49:47 AM »
I use them where necessary. When in doubt I Google. If there's still a question I dig out CMoS and go old school, or is it old-school?
 

PaulJWhite

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 06:19:51 PM »
I wouldn't be a fan, except for long words.
 

Michelle Louring

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Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 06:25:29 PM »
I'm fine with it either way, but I do wish I knew some ironclad rule for when and when not to hyphenate.
In my Native language (Danish) we have some kind of vendetta against hyphens and just mash everything into one word if possible  :icon_think:
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Vijaya

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 12:27:55 AM »
In my Native language (Danish) we have some kind of vendetta against hyphens and just mash everything into one word if possible  :icon_think:

That's like Sanskrit!

I check the CMoS when in doubt.

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ImaWriter

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 06:18:27 AM »
Another Word user and another vote for CMoS when I'm in doubt. 

I never rely on Word as a final grammar checker. 
 

David VanDyke

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2018, 06:41:52 AM »
As a very general rule (with lots of exceptions), in US English, hyphenated constructions are most often adjectives, usually called phrasal adjectives.

An old-school method.

Note, old-school is an adjective describing the noun, "method."

When the phrase is not an adjective, it's mostly not hyphenated.

That's totally old school, dude.

Another example:

A well-worn phrase.

That phrase is well worn.

Beyond that, you'll have to develop instincts, memorize, and look them up a lot.

This may help:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/hyphens
Never listen to people with no skin in the game.
 
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2018, 07:41:48 AM »
As a very general rule (with lots of exceptions), in US English, hyphenated constructions are most often adjectives, usually called phrasal adjectives.

An old-school method.

Note, old-school is an adjective describing the noun, "method."

When the phrase is not an adjective, it's mostly not hyphenated.

That's totally old school, dude.

Another example:

A well-worn phrase.

That phrase is well worn.

Beyond that, you'll have to develop instincts, memorize, and look them up a lot.

This may help:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/hyphens


This, and I would also add that creating new adjectives of this sort is a lot of fun.   :icon_mrgreen:
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Al Macy (aka TromboneAl)

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 12:47:25 AM »
My problem is: He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him.

IOW, I can't look it up if I don't know that it might be hyphenated or a single word.

For example, in a recent book I had written, "I estimated that a few thousand of the dog-like animals lived in the town."

Seem right?

Well, it turns out that "doglike" is a single word, according to M-W. I never would thought to look that up.

Luckily, my editor (freerangeeditorial.com) is a genius in that regard, and catches those.

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guest215

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Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 03:19:09 AM »
I ascribe largely to the methodology described by David Van Dyke above.

Some hyphenation issues come from American vs. British differences. I write a more British style, so I tend to prefer hyphenation.

Additionally, I think hyphenating words makes them more scannable. As a reader, I don't like getting hung up on a word. Some words just look dumbass stupid when they aren't hyphenated.

When in doubt, I always think about the scannability of the sentence. I want my readers sailing through my prose effortlessly. If that means a hyphen, then I'm a-gonna put in a hyphen. ;-) Use/reader experience trumps all.
 

elleoco

Re: Hyphens Love them? Hate them?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 06:59:38 AM »
Hate is too strong a word, but I'm not fond of the whole hyphen thing. I can read the rules, try to apply them to my particular situations, and still not be sure which way to go.