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Punctuation marks
apostrophe ( ' )
parentheses ( ( ) ),
brackets ( [ ] ); ( { } ); ( < > )
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dash ( ); ( ); ( ); ( )
ellipsis ( ... )
exclamation mark ( ! ); ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
hyphen ( - ); ( )
interrobang ( )
question mark ( ? ); ( ? )
quotation marks ( ‘ ’ ); ( “ ” );
    ( ‹ › ); ( ); ( ‚ ‘ ); ( „ “ );
    ( ); ( 「 」 ); ( 『 』 )
semicolon ( ; )
slash ( / ) and backslash ( \ )
space (   ) and interpunct ( )
vertical bar / pipe ( | )
asterisk ( * ) and dagger ( )

A hyphen is a punctuation mark. It is used both to join words and to separate syllables. It is often confused with a dash, which is longer. Hyphenation is the use of hyphens.

Table of contents
1 Rules and customs of usage
2 Examples of usage
3 Hyphens in computing
4 External link

Rules and customs of usage

Traditionally, the hyphen has been used in several ways:

However, the use of hyphens has in general been steadily declining, both in popular writing and in scholarly journals. Its use is almost always avoided by those who write advertising copy or labels on packaging, since they are often more concerned with visual cleanliness than semantic clarity. However, it is still used in most newspapers and magazines, so people remain accustomed to seeing and understanding it. Most writers who are obstreperous about other things are compliant when editors tell them to hyphenate compounds.

Examples of usage

Some strong examples of semantic changes caused by the placement of hyphens:

Additional examples of proper use:
text-only document or ... document is text-only
Detroit-based organization or ... organization is Detroit-based
state-of-the-art product or ... product is state-of-the-art (but The state of the art is very advanced. with no hyphen)
board-certified strategy or ... strategy is board-certified
thought-provoking argument or ... argument is thought-provoking
time-sensitive error or ... error is time-sensitive
case-sensitive password or ... password is case-sensitive
government-issued photo ID or ... photo ID is government-issued (but ... is issued by the government with no hyphen.)
light-gathering surface or ... surface is light-gathering
award-winning novel or ... novel is award-winning (but, more likely, ... won an award with no hyphen)
web-based encyclopedia or ... encyclopedia is web-based
fun-loving person or ... person is fun-loving
how to wire-transfer funds
how to tax-plan
advertising-supported service or ... service is advertising-supported (but, better, ... is supported by advertising with no hyphen.)
Rudolph Giuliani is an Italian-American (but see Hyphenated American)
list of China-related topics or ...list of topics is China-related (but ... related to China with no hyphen)
Out-of-body experience
Near-death experience

Hyphens in computing

In the
ASCII character encoding, the hyphen was encoded as character 45. Technically, this character is called the hyphen-minus, as it is also used as the minus sign and dasheses. In Unicode, this same character is encoded as U+002D so that Unicode remains compatible with ASCII. However, Unicode also encodes the hyphen and minus separately, as U+2010 ( ‐ ) and U+2212 ( − ), respectively.

When flowing text, it is sometimes preferable to break a word in half so that it continues on another line rather than moving the entire word to the next line. However, doing so requires some knowledge of the conventions of language, making the writing of a computer programs capable of doing so automatically and accurately difficult. To avoid this problem, Unicode encodes a soft hyphen character, U+00AD: when flowing text, a system may consider the soft hyphen to be a point at which a word may be broken, and display a hyphen at the end of the broken line; otherwise, the hyphen is not displayed. In HTML, the soft hyphen is encoded as the character entity &shy;.

Most text systems consider a hyphen to be a word boundary and a valid point at which to break a line when flowing text. However, this is not always desirable behavior, especially when it could lead to ambiguity. For this purpose, Unicode also encodes a non-breaking hyphen as U+2011. This character looks identical to the regular hyphen, but is not treated as a word boundary.

External link