Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When NOT to use a Hyphen

I found this list over on the Terribly Write blog and just had to pass it along. Seriously, when or when not to use a hyphen just perplexes me at times. :) So, courtesy of Laura at Terribly Write, here are 30 words that do NOT need a hyphen:


backstabbing
breakup (noun)
breathtaking
comeback (noun)
counterintuitive
downright
hobnob
latchkey
mainstream
midweek
nevertheless
newfound
nighttime
nonetheless
nonstop
overdo
overexpose
overpriced
overrated
oversized
postpartum
preteen
rendezvous
roundup (noun)
secondhand
sidekick
sightseeing
sourpuss
straightforward
woebegone

And, the rule for using a hyphen when discussing the age of someone....if you are using "years old" (plural) you don't need hyphens. If it is not plural (year old) you use 2 of them.

For example - My main character is 18 years old, but she throws a fit like a 2-year-old.

For more awesome grammar tips, check out Laura's site HERE. And come back Thursday...I'll be spending some time with a dictionary finding words that DO need a hyphen :D

13 comments:

Jacqueline Howett said...

Thanks Michelle for the link, and I shall try to remember this list.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the list. I often pause to decide whether or not to use a hyphen.

Matthew Rush said...

Wow. Very cool. If I was tested on this, I would get most of these right, but certainly not all of them. Thanks Michelle!

Shari said...

Awesome tips. Thanks for sharing them. I think I need to copy and paste these in a file somwhere because I know I'm going to be writing along and then wonder, "Does this word need a hyphen?"

Carole Anne Carr said...

I tend to use too many of them.

terriblywrite said...

Hi, Michelle! Thanks for the hat-tip to Terribly Write. I hope your readers find lots to amuse them and that maybe they learn something along the way!

Monica B.W. said...

Great post! Thank you!

Elaine AM Smith said...

That is a really useful list. I check on the Internet whenever Word and I are having a disagreement ;)

Stephanie McGee said...

Bookmarked. Thanks!

Jack LaBloom said...

I needed this one. Thanks.

Martha Ramirez said...

Thanks for sharing this!

terriblywrite said...

Thanks for the hat-tip to Terribly Write. I hope your readers will find the other writing tips useful and will enjoy the examples of bad writing -- all from the professional writers and editors who work for Yahoo.
http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com

terriblywrite said...

Thanks for the hat-tip to Terribly Write. I hope your readers will find the other writing tips useful and will enjoy the examples of bad writing -- all from the professional writers and editors who work for Yahoo.
http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com