Monday, September 5, 2011

The happy (or not) hyphen

It's funny how writers handle hyphens. Some hyphenate everything; others hyphenate nothing.

Me? I'm probably somewhere in the middle.

I worked for a newspaper that said that so-and-so was a high-school athlete, and I've often written that Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson were hall-of-fame drivers. Every time a questionable word or phrase came up, we'd try to decide if it should be one word, two words or hyphenated.

I just found "three-consecutive wins" online. That aforementioned newspaper preferred the hyphen in this case. I wouldn't hyphenate three consecutive wins, and I don't see why you'd need to.

A hyphen helps the reader, and the reader doesn't need help in this case.

What do you think about the use or overuse of hyphens?

Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

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