Rules for hyphens, commas change with new style guides


You may not have noticed, but your world just got less hyphenated. There are fewer commas, too.

That’s because changes to the country’s two most influential style books lean lighter on those punctuation marks, but only in certain, very specific circumstances.

Take, for example, the following AP style rule change: Hyphen not needed for “pre” or “re” before an e. Hyphenation rules break down into different categories. For nouns, like “passer-by” and verbs like “mass-produce,” you can just go with whatever your dictionary says. For compound adjectives you make up yourself, like a “hyphen-obsessed editor,” the longstanding rule has been to add your own hyphen if it helps.

Here in my recent column are some more of the new punctuation rules influencing what you read and, if you like, what you write too.


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