Love ’em or hate ’em, they do make our lives—or our reading, rather—easier. The tricky thing about hyphens is that some rules about them aren’t set in stone. They depend on preference and that means our usage in those cases change over time.
These days, hyphens aren’t used as much, which leads to a lot of confusion. When do you use a hyphen and when not?
Luckily, some basic rules still exist, especially when it comes to the use of compound adjectives and numbers and fractions. In other cases, the most important rules to adhere to are:
- Consult and stick with one particular dictionary, whether an online or offline one. (Don’t use both the online and offline version of one dictionary. Really try stick to one version and one version alone.)
- Be consistent.
Today, a lot of compound words are no longer spelled with a hyphen (we write website rather than web-site, and writing paper rather than writing-paper).Read More →