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Grammar issue, "non work related", where to put hyphens

Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey, I just corrected someone's grammar in a wiki. I changed "non work related" to "non-work related".

After I did this I realized that I don't actually know which it is (or if it should be "non-work-related", though I'm pretty sure that's not right).

I looked through a bunch of online grammar sites about this, but I couldn't find a situation exactly like this.

Help?

Also, please cite your response if possible since when it comes to grammar, everyone has a different opinion, and many of them are not right. :)

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Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    This is one of the stupidest rules in the English language:

    If it's before the object it's describing, it's hyphenated. If it's after, it's not.

    So, if you're saying "This is a non-work-related expense," it's hyphenated; if you're saying "this expense is non work related," it's not.

    Thanatos on
  • unilateralunilateral Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    This is one of the stupidest rules in the English language:

    If it's before the object it's describing, it's hyphenated. If it's after, it's not.

    So, if you're saying "This is a non-work-related expense," it's hyphenated; if you're saying "this expense is non work related," it's not.

    Damn! I wish I would have asked here about that before writing my thesis. I never could get a straight answer about it from my advisors (of course, they're psychologists and not english people).

    unilateral on
  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Ah, okay. The sentence in question is:

    "As happens from time to time, people have questions about non-work related matters."

    So it would be "non-work-related"?

    Smug Duckling on
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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I wouldn't say it's a rule -- it's a matter of which style guide you're using. Referenced here:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2006/Apr/30/ferguson-when-to-use-hyphen-with-non/

    He points out that the only "rule" is when you use non before a capitalized word, like non-Arab. Otherwise, it's actually better to leave it without the hyphen, or create a single world.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Yes, that seems the most right.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Ah, okay. The sentence in question is:

    "As happens from time to time, people have questions about non-work related matters."

    So it would be "non-work-related"?

    This goes into the argument of hyphenating an adjective that's multiple worlds, like "blue-eyed girl" and "speaking in a matter-of-fact way."

    edit: and, of course, if a point of grammar or a style technicality bugs you, it's perfectly fine to simply rewrite the sentence to avoid it. You could change it to "people have questions about matters unrelated to work."

    EggyToast on
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  • BeedleBeedle Registered User
    edited July 2008
    EggyToast wrote: »
    edit: and, of course, if a point of grammar or a style technicality bugs you, it's perfectly fine to simply rewrite the sentence to avoid it. You could change it to "people have questions about matters unrelated to work."

    I think this is by far the best thing to do. Not least because, if it's put as "non-work related", that implies matters related to 'non-work', which of course is not wrong, but you really mean to negate the entire phrase 'work related'. Since the laws of grammar sadly don't allow us to bracket our grammar like we do our algebra ("non-(work-related)") I'd say no combination of hyphens will look great.

    Beedle on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I say this as someone who is known as Grammar Fuehrer: no one is actually going to care. Maybe .1% of English speakers knows the rule, but I doubt it.

    Thanatos on
  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I say this as someone who is known as Grammar Fuehrer: no one is actually going to care. Maybe .1% of English speakers knows the rule, but I doubt it.

    *Phew* I thought I was the only one! I do care about all things grammar. However, hyphenation is probably the one area that rarely bothers me. I think it's probably fine without the hyphens.

    However, if you had ended your post with "I think I need to lay down," I would throw a fit. (As I'm sure Thanatos would also freak.) :)

    embrik on
    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Let sleeping dogs lay
    me :winky:
    Wait no...

    Smug Duckling on
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  • EwanEwan Registered User new member
    Let sleeping dogs lay
    me :winky:
    Wait no...

    Lie, not lay. 8-)

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    dont bump threads. Also you made an account, dug up this thread from.... 2008, damn, and then didn't get the spoiler joke.

    DisruptedCapitalistElvenshaeDaenrisTofystedethSiskaHades
This discussion has been closed.