Hyphens in legal writing and research

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Hyphens in legal writing and research

When a compound modifier other than an adverb — adjective combination appears before a term, the compound modifier is often hyphenated to prevent misunderstanding, such as in American-football player or little-celebrated paintings.

hyphens in legal writing and research

Without the hyphen, there is potential confusion about whether the writer means a "player of American football" or an "American player of football" and whether the writer means paintings that are "little celebrated" or "celebrated paintings" that are little.

However, if the compound is a familiar one, it is usually unhyphenated. For example, at least one style guide prefers the construction high school students, to high-school students.

hyphens in legal writing and research

Noun—noun compound modifiers may also be written without a hyphen when no confusion is likely: For example, "that gentleman is well respected", not "that gentleman is well-respected"; or "a patient-centered approach was used" but "the approach was patient centered. For example, "A cost-effective method was used" and "The method was cost-effective" cost-effective is a permanent compound that is hyphenated as a headword in various dictionaries.

When one of the parts of the modifier is a proper noun or a proper adjectivethere is no hyphen e. For example, The Economist Style Guide advises: Less common adverbs, including all those that end -ly, are less likely to need hyphens".

However, this has become rare.

Abbreviate the following:

For example, wholly owned subsidiary and quickly moving vehicle are unambiguous, because the adverbs clearly modify the adjectives: However, if an adverb can also function as an adjective, then a hyphen may be or should be used for clarity, depending on the style guide.

Similarly, more-beautiful scenery with a mass-noun is distinct from more beautiful scenery. In contrast, the hyphen in "a more-important reason" is not necessary, because the syntax cannot be misinterpreted.

A few short and common words — such as well, ill, little, and much — attract special attention in this category. Because early has both adverbial and adjectival senses, its hyphenation can attract attention; some editors, due to comparison with advanced-stage disease and adult-onset disease, like the parallelism of early-stage disease and early-onset disease.

Similarly, the hyphen in little-celebrated paintings clarifies that one is not speaking of little paintings. Hyphens are usually used to connect numbers and words in modifying phrases. Such is the case when used to describe dimensional measurements of weight, size, and time, under the rationale that, like other compound modifiers, they take hyphens in attributive position before the modified noun[19] although not in predicative position after the modified noun.

This is applied whether numerals or words are used for the numbers. Thus year-old woman and twenty-eight-year-old woman or foot wingspan and thirty-two-foot wingspan, but the woman is 28 years old and a wingspan of 32 feet.

National Institute of Standards and Technology recommend use without a hyphen: When the units are spelled out, this recommendation does not apply: In English, an en dash — sometimes replaces the hyphen in hyphenated compounds if either of its constituent parts is already hyphenated or contains a space for example, San Francisco—area residents, hormone receptor—positive cells, cell cycle—related factors, and public-school—private-school rivalries.

Object—verbal-noun compounds[ edit ] When an object is compounded with a verbal noun, such as egg-beater a tool that beats eggsthe result is sometimes hyphenated.For the most part, EPA follows the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook.

Other requirements of basic punctuation and grammar and usage in EPA writing modify, supplement, or . Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 1.

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