Spelling and Hyphenation

Don’t hyphenate compounds with words ending in ly:
Highly regarded leader; ridiculously long half-time show; beautifully decorated office; quickly drawn character.

Hyphenate words in phrases used as adjectives before a noun.

  • The proposal was a last-ditch effort at compromise.
  • The candidate produced a mile-long list of ideas.
  • one-time bonus; 100-yard dash; one-foot margin; full-time employee; 30-day pay period; eight-week session.

When a number and unit of measurement are used adjectivally, they are hyphenated
12-inch ruler; nineteenth-century painter.

Hyphenate half compounds

  • Robert was only half-awake during the lecture.
  • Mike refused to consider the half-baked request.
  • Halfhearted and halfway are spelled without hyphenating.

Any like words can be spelled without hyphenating.
Childlike; lifelike; birdlike.

Self words should be hyphenated.
Self-employed; self-serving; self-sufficient

Use a hyphen with all proper nouns and wide:

Don’t hyphenate other wide words: statewide, nationwide, countywide. NoteDon’t hyphenate “System-wide” because System (capitalized) is shorthand for the proper name of “UT System Administration.”

Multi words are not hyphenated unless such spelling makes for awkward reading.

  • Multimedia; multifaceted; multipurpose
  • Multi-talented; multi-generational

“Non” prefixes

  • non-credit
  • nondegree-seeking student
  • non-discrimination
  • non-preregistered
  • non-profit
  • non-student
  • non-University

Spelling, hyphenation and usage rules for common terms

  • adviser, except in the case of a job title: Special Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion
  • child care (two words)
  • classwork: one word; course work, two words
  • daytime; nighttime
  • decision-making process; the process of decision making
  • email
  • fundraiser; fundraising
  • 15-week semester
  • grade-point average
  • healthcare (one word)
  • Internet (capitalized)
  • lifelong (adjective)
    (daylong; monthlong; weeklong; yearlong)
  • life span (noun); life-span (adjective)
  • long-range (adjective)
  • long-term (adjective)
  • longtime (adjective)
  • multicampus
  • on-site (hyphenate as adjective or adverb)
  • startup
  • student-athlete
  • tax-deductible
  • turfgrass
  • ultra don’t hyphenate: ultrafine, ultraviolet
  • under don’t hyphenate: underline, underfunded
  • up-to-date
  • website
  • workforce, workplace, workstation; but work site
  • X-ray

Off Campus, On Campus

As adverb, no hyphens; as adjective, hyphens.

  • The students rented an apartment off campus for the summer.
  • On-campus space is unavailable.

Vice President

No hyphen.