Should I use a hyphen with a latin phrase that modifies an adjective that modifies a noun?

I understand that Latin phrases are not normally hyphenated. I also understand that adjective-modifying adverbs normally do receive a hyphen (despite this parenthetically invoked exception). So, which is most correct? Option A: There is no ex ante profitable strategy. Option B: There is no ex ante-profitable strategy. Option C: There is no ex-ante-profitable strategy. I … Read more

Persistently low lab values vs persistent low lab values?

I cannot seem to find the best way to express this, both in terms of grammar and "correct sounding" feel to English/American readers (which I am not). So, this is the scenario: the serum concentration of two peptides, peptide A and peptide B, is measured in a group of patients. The level of these peptides … Read more

Do the words “en dash” and “em dash” require a hyphen?

I have seen the compound words “en dash” and “em dash” sometimes appear with a hyphen (“en-dash”) and sometimes without. Are both the hyphenated and the unhyphenated forms correct? Answer There is no unanimity on the proper form of this term—at least not among U.S. authorities. Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) doesn’t include entries for … Read more

How does one correctly use hyphens in the following contexts?

I read a few articles from APA Style Blog’s “Hyphenation Station” series (, and I’m using these tips to guide my writing. I was wondering if anyone on this forum could help me alleviate some confusion with DIY (craft and baking) article hyphenations. In particular, for each bullet point, I’m not sure which of the … Read more

Can ‘smart home’ and similar phrases be adjectives if followed by a noun, or do they become complements?

I’m having some confusion here as I’ve been tasked with checking that some texts fit a style guide for work, and it requires that two adjectives directly preceding a noun be hyphenated, e.g. ‘well-dressed woman’. That example is straightforward enough for me, but I have no clue how far it extends. I’m seeing a lot … Read more

What is the correct punctuation for a repeated word?

I’m creating a presentation for school and I want to title my presentation “The not so secret secret to weight loss” My meaning is that people act as if it is a secret when in fact it is very common knowledge. Do I need a comma between the two words or a hyphen? Or is … Read more

How do you correctly hyphenate prefixes to already separated words?

Specifically, Co-Project leader is what I’m confused about. For reference, project leader would be written as separated words without any hyphen, obviously. However, once you have a vice project leader, which we mark with a “Co” prefix in our company, I’m suddenly unsure how to properly write it down. There are really only four combinations … Read more