As language evolves, hyphenated shed their hyphens and become full-fledged members of our vocabulary. These are words like standalone, solopreneurs, ongoing, all of the multi and re words—reengineer, reenter, multipurpose, etc.
Part of being a savvy writer is recognizing that these words have achieved a new status—they no longer require training wheels—hyphens or quotation marks surrounding them. A good writer stays on top of these transitions and omits the extraneous punctuation.
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So how do you stay on top of our rapidly evolving language? Don’t rely on Microsoft’s spellcheck–it just gets the basics. The best solution? Be aware as you’re reading–especially when it’s the work of authors and sources you respect. When your favorite authors and industry experts lose their hyphens, follow their lead. You’ll be rewarded by being a better writer.