Read the following passage about compound words and hyphens.
A study of more than 10,000 compound words has found that four basic rules, regarding when to use a hyphen, will work 75 per cent of the time.
If the compound word is a verb (like to blow-dry), or an adjective (like world-famous), it probably needs a hyphen. For nouns with two syllables, like break-up and set-to, the rule is easy: use a hyphen only when the second word has two letters. If the second part of the word has more than two letters, it should be spelled as a single word, like coastline or bedroom. This explains why hotdog is not hyphenated. Finally, if the noun has three or more syllables, it is two separate words. Examples here include bathing suit and washing machine.
Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer, who is a linguistics professor at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, produced the simple set of rules after examining thousands of English words. She worked alongside a programmer and a statistician to find the patterns in the English language. She said: “A whole range of factors can have an influence on how compound words are typically spelled. But on a general level, it all boils down to a few simple guidelines.” She has published exceptions to the rules, and additional guidelines for hyphens, in a book called ‘English Compounds and their Spelling’.
(Adapted from www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech)
Answer each question below with just ONE word.
- How many different rules for the use of hyphens did the study identify?
- Are these rules always correct?
- Do compound adjectives usually need a hyphen?
- Do we normally use a hyphen when a compound noun has more than two syllables?
- Did the linguistics professor carry out this research alone?