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    #1

    Smile Usage of two hyphens in a word

    Hello

    Can I use two hyphens in a word?

    E.g., non-cross-reference.

    The word specified in the example,does not make a complete sense, I just wanted to know from the "English usage" perspective, can we use two hyphens in a word?

    Thanks in advance,

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Usage of two hyphens in a word

    "Mother-in-law" springs to mind, and I'm certain there are others. So, yes you can have two hyphens in one word.
    By the way, my dictionary says that the NOUN cross reference(ed) is not hyphenated.
    Definition for cross reference - Oxford Dictionaries Online (World English)

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Usage of two hyphens in a word

    There are many examples.

    A three-year-old child.
    A less-than-successful experiment.

    However, in your writing, if you have options to avoid these multiple hyphens, saying, for example, an experiment that was less than successful instead of a less-than-successful experiment, you may want to consider doing so.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: Usage of two hyphens in a word

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    A three-year-old child.
    A less-than-successful experiment.
    Your parenting leaves much to be desired!

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Usage of two hyphens in a word

    LOL - Those were not intended to refer to the SAME example!

    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: Usage of two hyphens in a word

    Thank you, all.

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