Prefixes with Special Hyphenation Rules

The rules for hyphenating prefixes are different from the rules for hyphenating compound modifiers and nouns. There are a lot of case-specific rules and a lot of disagreement between styles. If you don't need to be exactly in line with a style guide but you just want an easy guideline, omit hyphens with prefixes unless it looks funny. So "nonprofit" but "pre-Columbian." If you want a more thorough explanation, it's in this podcast episode!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Tags: , , ,