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Scorpitron

aka Captain Fun

  • I was born on March 22
  • My occupation is Super-Occupational.
  • I am male, all day long.
  • Scorpitron

    Hyphens

    December 28, 2011 by Scorpitron

    Generally, hyphens should be used with compound words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) or as part of a prefix. There are other times to use them, but these are the most common.

    Compound nouns, such as 'father-in-law', use hyphens to show that each part has a distinct meaning. So, we hyphenate 'father-in-law' to show the meaning, not to mention that 'fatherinlaw' looks ridiculous. 'Switchblade', while a compound noun, would not be hyphenated, because we gain no additional definition from 'switch-blade'.

    Compound verbs appear when the verb is formed from two nouns. "The Mad Trapper set a booby trap. He booby-trapped the computer."

    (Yes, booby trap can be hyphenated when used as a noun as well. It gains no additional meaning by doing so, but it …

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