6.15.2007

A hyphen too many per diem

There are times when hyphens do not belong in modifiers. Per diem is one of those phrases that does not need a hyphen, even when used as a modifier. So the phrase "A per diem charge" does not require a hyphen.

I would allow that error per diem, but not more.

Of course, there are other schools of thought on hyphens, and that means that there are other compound modifiers that some would hyphenate and others would not. I am sure that there are more phrases that the dictionary lists as adjectives, which would not need to be hyphenated.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I work in health care where we use the term wellbeing a lot. I hate excessive hyphenations, so I use the word without the hypen that Webster's uses. I've seen in used without the hyphen in other print areas, and for practical purposes, I feel justified in breaking this rule. Do I have a leg to stand on?

Mike Billings said...

I would not. Well-being is hyphenated in all of dictionaries I looked in. Wellbeing as one word may save a hyphen, but to most people it would appear to be an error.

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