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* Compounds with "all," "half," "high," or "low" (all-purpose facility,
all-or-none reaction, all-out effort, all-around student; half-raised
home; half-blooded Indian, but halfway house and halfhearted effort;
high-energy particles, high-grade disks, but high blood pressure
* Compounds with "well" (if they precede a noun: well-researched
Do not use the hyphen in compound adjectives
* The suffix -ly: highly motivated person, recently developed program)
* Two proper names (Latin American countries)
* Two nouns (blood pressure level
Hyphenate when it precedes the noun it modifies (two-unit course, six-foot
fence, three 2-liter bottles
Predicate adjective are not hyphenated (the fence is six feet tall)
Make sure the phrase is a modifer and just a measure (a two-semester
course; but a course lasting two semester)
If there is a series of unit modifiers, repeat the hyphen after each
numeral (they offer two- and three-year scholarships)
Spelled-out fractions are hyphenated (three-fourths empty, one-half full)
Hyphenate two color terms of equal importance (blue-gray paper)
Do not hyphenate if one color term modifies (bluish gray paper)
Prefixes: check a dictionary.
She also gives counsel: "When in doubt, leave it out."
_Working With Words: A Concise Handbook for Media Writers and Editors_
(2nd ed.) by Brian S. Brooks & James L. Pinson (New York: St. Martin's,
1993 ISBN: 0-312-06662-7) discusses using hyphens with prefixes and
suffixes (pp. 209-11) and includes a fairly comprehensive list of "One
Word, Two Words or Hyphenated?" (pp. 211-28).
_The Chicago Manual of Style_ (14th ed) (Chicago: UP of Chicago, 1993 ISBN
0-226-10389-7 $40.00) wasn't very helpful.
Hope this answers some questions.
+ Hal Snyder, Professor of English | Technical Editing; Business, +
+ Dept. of English (GCB 2115) | Scientific, and Technical Writing +
+ East Carolina University | ENSNYDER -at- ECUVM -dot- CIS -dot- ECU -dot- EDU +
+ Greenville, NC 27858-4353 | ENSNYDER -at- ECUVM1 or Voice 919/328-6669 +