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  1. #1

    How to count a hyphenated word

    It seems there are two ways to count a hyphenated word; one is counting it as one word, and the other is disregarding hyphens when counting words.
    Which is more common?

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    Re: How to count a hyphenated word

    When I'm being paid by the word, a hyphenated word is two words. If I'm not being paid by the word I see no reason to care. When I do "word counts" on my students' work I use an averaging method rather than an exact count.

  3. #3

    Re: How to count a hyphenated word

    Thank you, mykwyner!

    Let's say there's a slogan competition and you have to submit your entry in no more than 20 words.
    You want to use a hyphenated word, like "once-in-a-lifetime" or "hard-to-believe"...or you even want to create a new word like "more-gorgeous-than-Marilyn-Monroe"...and you can't ask the competition organizer whether it can be counted as one word.
    In general, do you (native speakers) think it is OK to count it as one word?
    I think it depends, but what's your impression?
    I'd like opinons of at least a few people.

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