Tag Archives: hyphens

Mid-size, Midsize or Midsized: How to Decide?

www.RuthlessEditor.comWhen you’re describing a company that is neither large nor small, what’s the proper way to express it?

  • a mid-size company
  • a midsize company
  • a mid-sized company
  • a midsized company

According to my primary and preferred reference, The Associated Press Stylebook, midsized company is preferred. Part of the reason might be the tendency to avoid hyphens in words with prefixes:

coexist | nonfiction | paralegal | prenatal | semifinal | midsize(d)

Another source, Daily Writing Tips, considers midsize (not midsized) correct, agreeing with AP on omitting hyphens after prefixes. Continue

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3 Quiz Questions for National Punctuation Day

man with coffee ponders punctuationSunday, Sept. 24, 2017, is National Punctuation Day.

How will you celebrate?

I’ve thought about spending the day as founder Jeff Rubin suggested:

Sleep late. Go out for coffee and a bagel. Read a newspaper and use a red pen to circle all the punctuation errors. Visit a grocery store and make a list of all the “grocer’s apostrophes” you see (apple’s anyone?).

But I’d rather devote my time and this space to something helpful and constructive for you, my valued readers. Continue

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Pre-existing or Preexisting, Health Care or Healthcare: Which Is Right?

www.RuthlessEditor.comPre-existing (or is it preexisting?) conditions and health care (or is it healthcare?) have taken over headlines and are dominating conversations across the country.

What is the grammatically correct way to express these words in writing?

My foremost source, The Associated Press Stylebook, prefers pre-existing with a hyphen, explaining: Continue

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Grammatical Errors Sabotage Writer’s Message, Credibility

Embarrassing_Grammar_MistakesWhen this headline written by a member of one of my LinkedIn groups hit my inbox, I did a double take:
Is you Networking, Notworking?

Although it’s catchy, I clicked on the link to see if the errors — you instead of your, no capital Y, and a comma where none is needed — were intentional as a means to attract attention or whether they truly were oversights.

When I read further, I decided they had to be oversights, as these faux pas were only the beginning. Continue

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When Do ‘More’ and ‘Most’ Need A Hyphen?

Window that says customer satisfaction and a hand pointing at itLet’s say one of your company’s goals for 2016 is “to achieve more satisfied customers.”

Does that mean you want to expand your customer base to include more customers who are satisfied?

Or does it mean you want to raise the level of satisfaction of your current customers?

There are multiple reasons to connect two — and sometimes more — words with a hyphen; one is to create a compound modifier. Modifiers clarify meaning.

For example, if you add a hyphen to more satisfied customers — which without a hyphen would be interpreted as a greater numbers of customers — you get more-satisfied customers, which clarifies that the goal is to raise the level of  customer satisfaction. Continue

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You’ll Love This Hyphen Shortcut

kids readingHyphens are joiners. They create compound words such as editor-in-chief and mother-in-law.

Hyphens also create compound modifiers by joining two or more words that describe something: full-time job, low-income housing.

When you use a hyphen to create modifiers with the same base word, you can take a shortcut by using a suspended hyphen to avoid repeating a word.

Each of these hyphenation examples has a common base word: Continue

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4 Things To Remember About Compound Modifiers

Rolling Stone DrummerMastering compound modifiers challenged me until my college journalism instructor introduced me to the The Associated Press Stylebook. A compound modifier is two or more words that express a single concept and are descriptive or make meanings more specific.

During a recent trip, I filled part of my airport and flight time with the June 2015 issue of Rolling Stone (No. 1237). Because the publication’s writing is so vivid, I found dozens of examples of compound modifiers. “What a great blog topic!” I thought.

My trusted AP Stylebook provides these four basics: Continue

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How NOT to Blog

Sll writing including blogs needs editing. Take the time to be sure your written words reflect well on you.Wow, have I found an interesting blog! Because I have a book in the works, I’ve been reviewing information about marketing and self-promotion. Someone who professes to know something about how to market books provides advice via his blog that is so convoluted and poorly written, it destroys the author’s credibility — and thus the information he provides. Here are some copied-and-pasted excerpts, followed by my comments. Continue

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