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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. ‐ (hyphen)
  • n. − (minus sign)
  • n. Any of the dashes: ‒, –, —, ―
  • n. A single bond.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • I guess we can thank autocomplete, autocorrect , the red squiggle of disapproval and the green squiggle of grammar

    September 19, 2015

  • This topic interests me, but I don't have a good answer to your specific question. Maybe mobile typing difficulty is being counteracted by auto-fill results, so you type in sticktoitiveness and it recommends stick-to-it-iveness. What I offer is a historical perspective on writing.

    Before doing an MA that involved learning about English compounding 1000-present, I thought there was a natural progression of compound orthography (compound word -> compound-word -> compoundword). But! That's not true. Orthography does not tell if if something is a compound. English writing styles have changed for many reasons.

    This is a casual recounting, but true in general:

    First there was scriptio continua, no spaces between any words, which helped to save on paper (vellum) which was costly, but hard to read, and on top of that they used minims.

    Then when Irish monks were taking dictation, they didn't know what the words meant, so they made spaces between the words, based on the way the head monk spoke them.

    When French was quite in fashion, hyphenating became popular in phrases and compounds.

    German has had some spelling reforms to include MORE hyphenation, to help tourists who are intimidated by space-less compound strings in public signage.

    Some very well-established compounds have always had a space (ice cream) or hyphen (co-op) to help with legibility.

    Many phrases have several co-existing variants that vary depending on the style guide.

    Hyphens definitely matter in 3-part compounds, where the middle word could be linked to either the 1st or 3rd word, e.g., "AP interviews lion hunting dentist."

    September 19, 2015

  • Is twitter and mobile communication making us drop the dash between words?
    hashtags seem to run words together. twitter makes us save space, and mobile phones are hard to type on.   Myself, I rarely use these dash things.

    September 19, 2015

  • maqaf, in Hebrew.

    December 29, 2011