Prefixes: Solid Words or Hyphenated?

Margie Wakeman Wells General, The Hyphen Leave a Comment

The rule is that a prefix is added to the front of a word to make a solid word. …preordained …postprandial …overrated …underfed However, when there is already a word that has a different meaning, the prefix should be hyphenated. This usually occurs with the prefix re-. …He decided the only choice was to resign. …We returned to the bank …

A Dash or a Hyphen?

Margie Wakeman Wells General 3 Comments

Just a quick note to get some terminology cleared up: The dash in formal English is a long mark, called the “em” dash, that is flush against the word on either side. In court reporting, back in the “carbon paper days,” we had only a typewriter, and it did not have the em dash, the long mark. So we decided …

Prefixes and Suffixes

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen Leave a Comment

The rule is that prefixes and suffixes are added on and made a solid word. However, when the word that has a prefix or suffix is more than one word, the prefix or suffix is attached with a hyphen. …time frame-wise……pre-high school……social security-like… Happy punctuating! Margie

Adverbial Objective

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen Leave a Comment

When a noun answers an adverb question, it is called an adverbial objective. …left Friday for the lake… (“Friday” tells “when”) …spent four hours there… (“four hours” tells “how long”) The terms “full time” and “part time” are used in this manner. …work full-time for them, not part-time… MW says that these terms are hyphenated as adverbs. Happy punctuating! Margie

“Serious bodily injury accident” — Part 1

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

The punctuation of these words occasioned a rather heated discussion on FB that contained a number of misconceptions about the language in general. First, a note about the “-ly” issue. Adverbs that end in “-ly” are formed from an adjective: …recent, recently… …new,  newly… …charming, charmingly… …heavy, heavily… …steady, steadily… When one of these “-ly” words combines with another word …

“Old/Olds” in Combination with “Year/Years”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen Leave a Comment

…a five-year-old was… …knew the 12-year-olds who… The word old/olds is part of the hyphenated compound noun when the word year is singular. The word old/olds is a combining form, and the combination is hyphenated. …is five years old… …knew he was 12 years old… When the word years is plural, the word old is an adjective. There are no hyphens in the combination. Happy …

Hyphens — Again

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen Leave a Comment

When a combination is recognized as a unit already — that is, it is a compound noun that is separate words — there is no need for a hyphen when it is used as an adjective. …substance abuse… …substance abuse counseling… …mental health… …mental health evaluation… …domestic violence… …domestic violence situation… The difficult thing, perhaps, is to decide whether something …

Just Musing…

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen Leave a Comment

As I was listening to the news a couple of days ago, the newscaster said, “The several million dollar homes in that area are….” It is clear that it has to be “…the several-million-dollar homes…” because of the word “the.” Without the word “the,” it could go either way, I think. …several million-dollar homes… …several-million-dollar homes… Happy punctuating! Margie