Letter from a Hyphen

Dear Students,

Oh, hey! Can’t you see me here? What? You don’t remember me? Well, I am your old friend, Haleigh the Hyphen, the thin dash periodically used in writing. Although I might seem elusive at first, I really am a helpful punctuation mark.

For example, if you are writing compound numbers or fractions in your academic paper, then I am a crucial element to your sentence. Let’s say that you are writing the number 23 ¼ in your essay. In some formats, you would write it like twenty-three and one-fourth. Likewise, I am needed when connecting a series of numbers or dates. My function is not only helpful in academic writing, but it is also useful in the works cited portion of your paper. If you are citing numerous pages, you would squeeze me between the beginning page number and the ending page number. Perhaps you started reading on page forty-five and finished on page fifty. In this instance, you would simply use me like this: 45-50.

In order to clarify your writing, you should use me to distinctively distinguish between two words with the same spelling that have different meanings. As an illustration, the word “recover” means to find; however, re-cover means to repair. Although this might not seem like a big deal at first, I can guarantee you that I make a big difference when talking about your shiny, new Camero. By adding me, you will be able to distinguish between the two words and create clarity in your essay. You might also avoid panicking about the fancy things in your life.

Also, I can connect a prefix to a number, a capital letter, or a word that begins with the same letter the prefix ends with. For example, say there was a pro-American patriot who decided to re-evaluate his stance on the post-1920s view of women. In this instance, I am used in different ways in order to ensure that the rules are met. Without me, there would be some confusing and cluttered sentences. I am also an essential part of forming compound adjectives, joining invented words or long phrases used as adjectives, and connecting suspended compounds. Look at this goofy story to see what I mean: my friend is a well-known actress with a holier-than-thou attitude. She wanted a one- or two-year lease on an apartment in Hollywood; however, tragically, her ex-husband left her and took all of the money. Does that show you how important I can be in a sentence?

Lastly, I am used when words are divided at the end of a line. Although this is typically when you are hand-writing, it is still a vital part of my role as a punctuation mark. For example, if I decided to write an organized and correctly punctuated letter to my friend, then I would make sure that all of these rules are followed. I hope after reading this blog, you remember me and are no longer afraid of me. I cannot wait to show up in your writing!


Haleigh the Hyphen

Written by Trisha (NEW: Click on author’s name to learn more about him or her!)

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