Tuesday, November 13, 2012


(This post comes from Susan Titus Osborn.)

Hyphens and dashes all have specific uses. They cannot be used interchangeably.

The hyphen separates compound words, either a compound noun or a compound adjective modifying a noun. If there is more than one phrasal adjective modifying a single noun, hyphenation becomes especially important.

* fuzzy-wuzzy bear, video-game-magazine dispute, state-inspected assistant-living facility, twenty-four hours, twenty-four-hour clock

The hyphen also separates numbers that are not inclusive, such as telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and ISBN numbers.

* Her telephone number is 501-324-7611.

Another use for the hyphen is to separate letters when the word is spelled out.

* Her name is Alayna, spelled a-l-a-y-n-a.

In URLs careful distinction needs to be made between a hyphen (-) a tilde (~), and an underline (_) .



If you want people to find your website or your e-mail address easily, don't use any of those three.

Susan Titus Osborn is the director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. She has authored 30 books. You can reach her at susanosb@aol.com, http://www.Christiancommunicator.com/.

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