Re: Sickness of the hyphen

Subject: Re: Sickness of the hyphen
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 23:50:05 EST

Rick, you stated:

>I suspect it's partly due to the lack of an easily
>remembered rule for using them [hyphens]. Anyone on the list have

I remember a rule for knowing when to hyphenate a word that may not
work *all* of the time. I have no source for this rule. I just
picked it up somewhere through the years.

If you say each of the adjectives with the noun they modify without
saying the other adjective, and it makes sense, then you don't need
the hyphen.

If you *can't* say each of the adjectives separately with the noun
and have it make sense, then you need to hyphenate the word.

Example: . . .the third-floor apartment. . .

When you say third apartment, that's clearly not what you mean.
And, if you say floor apartment, that has no meaning, either. So
you have to hyphenate the word.

Oh, gee, I've stuck my neck out and made a post.

Ginger Jones

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