The UVic Writer's Guide

Hyphens For Splitting Words At The End Of A Line

In formal essays, it is usually best to avoid splitting words at the end of a line. If you must, be sure to put the hyphen after a complete syllable: splut-ter; sesqui-pedalian.

Some word processors and desktop publishing programs (like the one that is used for this manual) include automatic hyphenation; if you use it, check where the words are split, since the program's "algorithm," however sophisticated, will not always put the hyphen where a human would. Also, do not hyphenate an already hyphenated word (e.g. anti-es-tablishment).

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated September 21, 1995