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post #102 of Old 06-01-2008
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Originally Posted by tjaldur View Post
(off topic, I must admit that I use an online device for spelling control, but it inserts hyphens all over my text, do you always use hyphens in all these words in English?)
No. Hyphens are not common, but are used to distinguish when nouns are compound, or when compound nouns are used as adjectival phrases.

"I own many power tools. I have to be good at power-tool maintenance."

In the above example, power is the adjective to the noun tool, but in the second sentence, the hyphen is preferred because the combination of power and tool modify the noun maintenance.

Commas come into play when a series of adjectival phrases modify a noun:

"I own a large selection of professional-grade, dual-voltage, easy-to-carry power tools."

While technically correct, such a sentence in English is bordering on confusing, and making English confusing is the source of much comedy in the English-speaking countries.

I think your software is too enthusiastic. Good luck with your brand-new, diesel-fired generator.
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