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Fine-Tuning 4, Hyphens with Prefixes and Suffixes

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 12:44 pm
A while back, Piffka requested that I discuss when to hyphenate prefixes and suffixes. Here it is, Pif.

For the most part, assume that prefixes and suffixes are linked to words without hyphens or space. Here are the exceptions:

1. When the removal of the hyphen causes the word to be misread. Examples:

recreate/re-create coop/co-op

2. When the removal of the hyphen causes two i's to fall next to each other. Example:

anti-inflammatory

3. When the removal of the hyphen causes three of the same letter to fall next to one another. Example:

bell-like

When in doubt, check your handy dandy dictionary.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 6,441 • Replies: 31
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 12:56 pm
How about this situation: In publications, I never want to hyphenate proper nouns, e.g. people's names or geographical entities. Is this my own bias or is there a rule about it?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 01:16 pm
D'artagnan

According to 'The New Fowler's Modern English Usage' (1996), hyphenation does matter to join a prefix to a proper name (e.g. anti-Darwinian).

You should use a hyphen with the prefixes ex- (meaning former), self-, all-; with the suffix -elect; between a prefix and a capitalized word; and with figures or letters says the 'Purdue University Online Writing Lab' (e.g. anti-American).

Interesting: Use a hyphen with product and store names; don't follow correct English grammar:
K-Mart
Q-Tip
7-11

which is by Phoenix, ehem, "The Phoenix Writer Workshop' ('Writer's Toolbar').
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 02:10 pm
D'artagnan, Oops. I forgot to include info on hyphenation with proper names. Alway retain the hyphen if the word the prefix is linked to is capitalized. This also applies to numbers.

Also, when you use the prefix "quasi," retain the hyphen. Why? I don't know. This is also true for "self" when it is used as a prefix. Why? Don't know this either.

I'm sure that there are other exceptions. If I think of them, I'll post them.

Thanks, Walter, for finding the info.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2003 02:15 pm
I actually meant something different, Walter and Roberta. I was referring to breaking words at the end of a line. But I now realize that this is not the theme of this discussion. You're referring to hyphenated words with prefixes and suffixes.

Which, come to think of it, is the title of this thread. Ooops...
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 02:10 am
D'artagnan, I misread your post. End-of-line hyphenation. Okey dokey. I checked the Chicago Manual of Style (biblical for us editors). Although there is no hard-and-fast rule, it is suggested that proper names not be hyphenated. It is further suggested that if a proper name is to be hyphenated, the hyphen should fall between the first and last name--most preferably after the middle initial. I can only assume from this that hyphenating a name in the middle of one word of the name is frowned upon.

Hope this helps.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 11:04 am
I am trying to picture this. In the situation at the end of a line, one should hyphenate between the first and last proper name? Mary-McCarthy? Whaaaat? Mary J.- McCarthy?
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 11:09 am
Roberta:

Have you ever counted the number of spelling mistakes in a daily issue of the New York Times?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 11:29 am
You are right (if it is this), ossobuco, and thus I haven't thought of it. Walter-Hinteler
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 04:31 pm
Osso, Thanks for catching that doozy of a mistake. What was I thinking? Nothing, obviously. Embarrassed

What I meant to say and should have said is that if a proper name falls at the end of a line, it is preferable to break the name without hyphenating. Jonathan (new line) Edwards rather than Jona-thon Edwards. Embarrassed Embarrassed

Walter, The number of spelling errors in the NY Times? Too many, I'm sure. I am more accepting of spelling mistakes than I am of grammatical mistakes, but only marginally. And I'm more accepting of mistakes in newspapers than I am of mistakes in other publications that are not in such a hurry to print. Let's face it. We're going to find mistakes everywhere.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 May, 2003 11:40 pm
I don't see that many mistakes in the NYT, especially in comparison to the mass of them in my local newspaper. Not that I am such an eagle eye, ah, eagle-eye. Eerie egret. Itchy eaglet.

And on the end of line thing, Roberta, good, now it makes sense!
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dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2003 07:40 am
How about the rule from Chicago Manual of Style about if the suffix is added to three or more syllables, then hyphenate. Example: "unlady-like." Weird, huh?

Or, if a number and a unit of measurement all act as an adjective before the noun. Example: "three-mile run."

Or if an adjective is placed before a participle, both modifying a noun. Examples: "decision-making process," and "half-baked idea."

But, if an adverb ending with an "ly" is placed before an adjective, both modifying a noun, then there is no hyphen. Examples: "lovely summer day," and "quickly baked pie."

If an adverb does not end in an "ly," then hyphenate before a modified noun only to clarify the meaning. Examples: (not a good one, but here goes) "He wanted to own less-appreciated art," vs. "He wanted to own less appreciated art."

My personal favorite--as if the above were not confusing enough!--if there is a need to hyphenate two words without a hyphen to a word, then you use an en-dash. Example: "United States(en-dash)owned property."

If there is a need to hyphenate two words which each contain a hyphen, then you also use an en dash. Example: "unlady-like(en dash)unruly-like hellion."

Most of these rules can be found at the end of chapter six in a chart in The Chicago Manual of Style.
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dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2003 07:51 am
Oops! I see the title indicates hyphens for prefixes and suffixes. I apologize for my over-the-top response.

Smile
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2003 01:50 pm
dupre, No need to apologize. I've been dealing with the rules of hyphenation (all of them) for a long time. They can get very complicated, indeed. For example, why isn't there a hyphen between high and school when you say high school student?

I was specific in the title of this thread because I really didn't want to have to address all the issues you address. Let's face it. Delving into the complex rules of hyphenation is a bit more than "fine-tuning." Smile
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dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2003 09:27 pm
Yep. I've struggled with that one--high school--as an adjective before. Could it be because it is used attributively that it remains open?

Geez. The hyphenation rules are the hardest to master. I refer to the CMS frequenty when I proofread for examples.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2003 11:52 pm
Dupre, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "used attributively." I wasn't able to find anything on the subject of when not to hyphenate in the CSM. However, I did find the following info in another style manual: A number of adjective-noun combinations (such as real estate) and noun-noun combinations (such as life insurance) are actually well-established compound nouns serving as adjectives. These expressions refer to well-known concepts or institutions. Because they are easily grasped as a unit, they do not require a hyphen.

Not exactly definitive, but helpful nevertheless, I hope.

I've been an editor/proofreader for over thirty years. When I'm doing the editing, I hyphenate what I think needs hyphenating. When I'm proofreading, I look for consistency in hyphenation.

Frankly, when I started out as a trainee, hyphenation was a pain in the patoot. After all this time, it's still a pain in the patoot.
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2003 07:04 pm
Nouns or open compounds used as adjectives.

Yep, hyphens are a pain in the patoot in the worst way.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 May, 2003 08:08 am
Thanks for providing this, Roberta!

I'm afraid I have more questions now than before. For example, what is an en-dash? I know there are em and en sizes of type, but I don't think I've noticed smaller sized dashes (oops... smaller-sized dashes!). I have seen those doubly long dashes (oh, heck, would that be "doubly-long"?) but assumed they were clever word-processings of a double dash (double-dash?).

And though I see the word "colocation" as such in publications, I can't get over my preference for co-location. <sigh>
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 May, 2003 01:19 pm
Piffka, You can most likely find an en dash in a publication if you look for a range of numbers. That is the most common use for en dashes. (E.g., from 1950-1960.) They are rarely used as hyphen substitutes--usually just for oddball constructions.

As for colocation, I don't think anyone would fault you for putting a hyphen in there. It would help pronunciation.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 09:27 am
Hmmm, so there is a difference between an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? And what do you call those long dashes that fancy word-processing programs will substitute if you type a double dash?
0 Replies
 
 

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