How to Use Hyphens Correctly in Business Grammar
Louise Julig wrote a wonderful post about hyphens in her Thoughts Happen blog. Business writing requires correct hyphenation.
It’s both clarifying and funny. She wore a purple wrist band to remind her of her pledge not to complain. The problem? The bracelet omitted a needed hyphen, prompting Louise’s grammar complaint:
Hyphens are very complicated. I agree with Grammar Girl’s recommendation to check a dictionary and style guide when possible. When it’s not, fall back on this baseline rule:
Hyphenate compound modifiers when they come before a noun, and don’t hyphenate them when they come after a noun.
Louise illustrated this rule nicely:
Louise, thanks so much for breaking your complaint-free pledge to clarify this! I say you should gouge that little hyphen into your bracelet, and wear it proudly!
Correct your Business Grammar challenges today.
About the author
Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998, and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in English Literature from Boston College, and a C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of New Hampshire.