How to hyphenate a word

Need help from fellow English editors.

If you want to hyphenate a word at the end of a line, how do you break it down? I’ve always been taught that it should be broken down according to the syllables, e.g., “password” should be “pass-” and then “word” in the next line. So when I saw the word “packaging” written as “packag-” and then “ing” in the next line, I naturally corrected it by moving the g down to the next line, to read “ging.” But in the dictionary, the word is broken down as “pack.ag.ing”, so is the original version correct?

Try not to line break on this one. Figure something else out, or esle it will drive you mad.

Yes. But as Alleycat noted, it’s an ugly break that’s better to avoid.

there’s an expansive discussion of hyphenation here that compares the various rules that have been proposed. Americans in general break words according to pronunciation, British according to etymology.
Pedantic use of any rule though will lead to absurdities. In any case, the rule on end-of-line hyphenation these days seems to be don’t. Set your software not to allow it.

Huh? Where did you get that from? Hyphenation is absolutely essential when working with justified text or even flush-left text in narrow columns such as those founds in newspapers and magazines. If you switch off hyphenation, the layout software will do its level best to give you an ugly document in return for your arrogance.

Thanks a mil, guys.

Very helpful link, Salmon. :smiley:

That’s interesting - I didn’t know that. If ever called upon to hyphenate the word “helicopter,” I will make sure to assert my British identity by writing “helico- pter” instead of “heli- copter.” (Greek root - helicopter = spiral wing; pteradactyl = wing finger. Not a lot of people know that!)

Huh? Where did you get that from? Hyphenation is absolutely essential when working with justified text or even flush-left text in narrow columns such as those founds in newspapers and magazines. If you switch off hyphenation, the layout software will do its level best to give you an ugly document in return for your arrogance.[/quote]

In that case, refer to rule one:

[quote=“salmon”]Pedantic use of any rule though will lead to absurdities[/quote] :wink: