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Designer Punctuation Part A

Designer Punctuation

This part of covers a some of the less commonly used punctuation marks, including hyphens, parentheses, brackets, ellipses, and diagonal slashes. While these marks aren’t necessary all that often, when they are necessary it’s important to use them correctly.

You can read second blog on Designer Punctuation Part B

You can read third blog on Designer Punctuation Part C

1. Hyphen:

The main purpose of a hyphen (-) is to join words in creating compound nouns or adjectives.

Compound nouns may be written as a single word as two words as two words or as a hyphenated word.

Single word compound nouns

Tablecloth, horsefly

Two word compound nouns

Parking lot

Couch potato

Hyphenated compound nouns



1. Use a hyphen to join multi-word compound nouns.


(Fly-by-night, stick-in-the-mud)

2. Use a hyphen to join two or more words that function as a single adjective preceding the noun.


The hackers saw a run-down cabin in the clearing.

The company employed a high powered consultant.

A French-Canadian bicyclist won the three week race.

3. Use a hyphen to join prefixes such as self, half, ex, all, great, post, pro and vice, or the suffix elect, to words.


Harry Truman unleashed the all-powerful atomic weapon.

Abraham Lincoln was a self-made man.

4. Use a hyphen to avoid confusing or awkward spellings.


The coach decided to repair (rather than repair) the debate partners.

The neighbour decided to re-cover (rather than repair) their old sofa.

5. Use a hyphen to write two-word numbers between 21 and 99 as words.


Twenty-six, twenty-three, sixty-four, seventy-two, ninety-nine

6. Use a hyphen to join fraction written as words.


Three-fifths, five-sixteenths, five thirty-seconds.

If you find any problem to understand the rule of this topic, Please ask about your problem in comment box.

Rajesh Bhatia

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