Hyphenating to a Compound Noun

When you have a compound noun that is separate words and it is being used as an adjective in front of a noun, it is not hyphenated. …real estate deal… …social security payment… When there is a prefix or suffix for the compound noun, hyphenate it to the front or back of the noun; however, do not hyphenate the compound …

Awkward Quotes

When someone chooses to switch into quotes after the word that, you just have no choice but to use quotation marks (despite the fact that your trusty English teacher told you never to use quotes after that). There is, however, no comma after the word that because it really doesn’t qualify as “lead-in” words. …She told me that I had …

Word Pairs — At Last

I am sure you have noticed that I have been absent from here! I am back — as tomorrow morning I finally and at last send the word pairs book to the printer. Even as I am thinking, “What was I thinking when I decided to write another book?” my mind is looking ahead to the next one and trying …

Fractions

The “everyday” fractions — two thirds, three fourths, seven eighths — are written out when they stand alone. They are hyphenated only when they are direct adjectives. …had an increase of three fourths over the prior year… …one thirds of them were… …had a one-fourth decrease in the rate… …two-thirds majority… If the fraction is “unusual” or large, use figures. …