Hyphenated words

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ConorBieber, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. ConorBieber Member

    Brazilian Portuguese
    Sometimes I see the word nonviolent with a hyphen. The same happens with makeup and breakup. What's the correct means to write these words? Are they hyphenated or not?

  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Do you like British or American English? As a general rule, American English doesn't use the hyphen in those three words, and British English does (according to the latest Oxford; hyphenation in British English underwent a big change in 2007).
  3. mplsray Senior Member

    They should all be written without a hyphen in American English. It appears that they are all written with a hyphen in British English.
  4. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I write them all with a hyphen each. But when I write for different publishers, I have to follow their rules.

    Have a look at these from this forum's 'sticky':

    UK English, University of Sussex:

    US English, Capital Community College Foundation:

    US English, the Owl at Purdue University:

    US Government Printing Office:
    Start at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/stylemanual/ and search for punctuation.
  5. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    I write non-violent with a hyphen. I wouldn't consider it incorrect. Is there a strict rule about it?
  6. armour65 Senior Member

    New York City
    United States English
    Writing anything but "non-violent" I would argue is wrong, Angel :)
  7. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    The general practice in modern American usage is not to hyphenate words beginning with un, in, non, co, anti, and so on, or ending in up, down, and the like—unless there would otherwise be confusion on the part of the reader. For example, we have a form of dwelling called cooperative apartments. In both speech and writing, that's often shortened to the first four letters—which we spell co-op, because otherwise it would be the same spelling and pronunciation as an enclosure for chickens. And aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug, because the two i's coming together would be a distraction in reading.

    [Later] I should have noted, vis-à-vis Natkretep's mention of publishers: Here, periodicals (newspapers, magazines, journals) have their own rule books, which writers must follow. (They may buck the trend; the New Yorker magazine chooses to follow BE style in many ways.) Book publishers usually permit authors to use the style they wish, as long as there is consistency throughout the book.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  8. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Macmillan and Merriam-Webster both list nonviolent.
  9. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    This site kind of clarified my thoughts about it. It states the current "trend" is to not use hypens so much.

    I don't know if that's even a valid argument in this discussion.

    I only know my fingers barely folllow my command when I type copayment.

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