Language & Styleguide: Hyphens and Compound Words

Hyphenated words:

all-inclusive study (but: overall design)  45-fold (but: tenfold)
two-and-a-half full-length mirror (but: the mirror was full length)
middle-class voters (but: midlife crisis) snail-like (but: catlike)
faculty-specific marketing initiatives research-intensive university
age-friendly communities resource-based economy
knowledge-based economy high-tech facility
institutional awareness-building efforts student-centred environment
first-place standing value-added university
thought-provoking reply self-reliant boy
six-year-old boy state-of-the-art laboratories
two-thirds majority up-to-date
black-and-white print re-examine, pre-empt
co-op, Career and Co-operative Education Services co-author, co-editor, co-pilot, co-chair, co-recipient, co-defendant, co-conspirator
pro-choice, pro-life world-class centre of excellence
toxin-free materials short-term
long-term well-known author
ill-fitting garment best-loved cousin
little-understood book least-desirable accommodation

Example: Lakehead offers on-campus and off-campus courses. or: Lakehead offers on- and off-campus courses.

Example: The curriculum focuses on treaty and non-treaty legal interpretations.

Example: The Finance Department is planning for the short- and long-term success of the institution.

Example: The labs are open to full- and part-time students.

Example: We are prepared to cooperate with you.

Example: I will coordinate this project.

Open Compounds (No Hyphens):

under way   newly hired employee     
decision making, decision maker  problem solving 
video conference, video conferencing  home page

An adverb (words ending in “ly”) followed by a participle or adjective is open and requires no hyphens

Examples: environmentally friendly, poorly attired man, highly developed, wholly involved, utterly dejected, ardently pursued

Closed Compounds:

anteroom  macroeconomics 
anticlerical  micromethod 
binomial  midtown but: Mid-Atlantic and mid-nineteenth century)
bioecology, bioenergy, biorefining, biomaterials, biomolecular, bioeconomy  minibus 
geoarchaeology  multidisciplinary, multipurpose 
counterclockwise  overlong  
database  overeager  
coordinate overarching 
cooperate (but: Career and Co-operative Education Services)  postdoctoral, postgraduate 
email (not e-mail)  postsecondary 
extrafine  wellbeing 
fundraising, fundraiser  workstation 
infrastructure  website, webserver 
interrelated, interdisciplinary  

 

Numbers that need hyphens:

Lakehead raised $13 million for scholarships and bursaries. (In this case, $13 million is a noun and does not need the hyphen.)

The University’s $13-million capital campaign ended in May. (Here, $13-million is an adjective that modifies capital campaign and needs a hyphen.)