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Editorial Style Guide

General Style Preferences: Punctuation

Hyphenation and Words Formed with Prefixes
Hyphens join words to form a single idea from two or more words. Words that might otherwise be misread, such as re-creation and re-cover, should also be hyphenated. Hyphens can also eliminate ambiguity. For example, the hyphen in much-needed clothing shows that the clothing is greatly needed rather than abundant and needed. Where no ambiguity could result, as in public welfare administration or graduate student housing, hyphenation is unnecessary. (Chicago Manual 7.80)

Hyphens are typically used in compound modifiers that precede a noun: a late-day rally, a full-time job, a come-what-may attitude. When such compounds follow the noun they modify, hyphenation is usually unnecessary.

Hyphens are not used when the compound modifier preceding a noun:

Compound modifiers containing the word more, most, less, least, or very are also usually open (no hyphen) unless one is needed to avoid ambiguity: a more thorough exam; the most efficient method; a less prolific artist; the least understood approach; a very much needed addition; but: the lesser-paid colleague.

Words formed with prefixes are normally closed (no hyphen). For example:

antebellum, antihero, bisexual , bioecology, coequal, counterculture, cyberspace, extramural, hypertext, infrastructure, interfaith, intramural, macroeconomics, megavitamin, metaethical, microeconomics, midcentury, minicourse, multimedia, neonatal, noncredit, overconscientious, postbaccalaureate, premodern, protolanguage, pseudomodern, reunify, semiprivate, subzero, superannuated, transcontinental, ultraorganized, unfunded, underemployed

However, a hyphen should appear:

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