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

Should “uncomment” include a hyphen, or is either one correct?

Should “uncomment” include a hyphen like this: “un-comment”, or either one correct? Answer The use of un as a prefix is part of normal grammar, and it is typically used without a hyphen when it precedes a word starting with a consonant. In looking at the Merriam-Webster definition of un, none of the example sentences … Read more

Hyphenation for “300 or 400 level”

Since “400 level” should be hyphenated as “400-level”, should “300 or 400 level” be hyphenated as “300- or 400-level,” or is there another way to write this? Answer “300- or 400-level” is correct. However, if you have “to” in between, I would write it as “300-to-400 level” or “300-to-400-level”. AttributionSource : Link , Question Author … Read more

Usage of high quality vs high-quality

Am I using the correct grammar by not having high quality hyphenated? From direct mail, printing & fulfillment, to database analytics and digital media, Company Name continues to deliver high quality services that produce results. Answer If you want to follow the intended use of English language, then you want to hyphenate in that situation. … Read more

When is ‘off guard’ hyphenated?

How do you decipher when and how to use ‘off-guard’ or ‘off guard’? Example sentences “I wanted to find it before my opponents did,” he clarified. “So, if anything was brought up during one of the many townhall debates we had, I was ready to respond and defend myself instead of being caught off guard.” … Read more

Hyphenating “Pulitzer Prize winning” as adjective

I’m looking for authority on hyphenating the following phrase with a compound modifier. Which is correct? She was a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, or She was a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, or She was a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter The Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed. at sections 5.92 and 5.93 covers some of this topic, but doesn’t … Read more

‘The snap election results’ or ‘The snap-election results’?

Which of the two is grammatically correct? The snap election results are in. The snap-election results are in. The sentence should refer to the results of an election that was announced suddenly and unexpectedly. Answer To me, “snap election results” seems better. I agree with Nigel J that it seems like someone who uses a … Read more

What is gender-neutral equivalent of poster boy/poster girl?

What is the gender-neutral equivalent of poster boy/poster girl? I want to use it in the context of a company, which is neither he nor she, like in: "a poster boy/poster girl company for self-organization." Also, is either of the forms "poster boy" or "posterboy" more correct? Answer The term is poster child (written as … Read more

Which form would be correct: cyber security, cyber-security or cybersecurity?

I want to stop changing my mind, I’ve used all three of the forms cyber security, cyber-security or cybersecurity at different times. There have been previous discussions on this (e.g. here and here) and I’m looking for a reasoned recommendation. I know there is never a simple answer in language due to the constant evolution … Read more

Cosmetics: Make up, make-up, or makeup?

When referring to cosmetics, which is correct? Make up, make-up, or makeup? And does it matter in case of a noun, verb, adjective? The actor playing Frankenstein’s monster wore 6 pounds of [makeup | make-up | make up]. The [makeup | make-up | make up] professional applied 6 pounds of cosmetics to the actor. Go … Read more