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Dieses Thema hat 7 Antworten
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 Allgemeine Fragen
Selkie Offline

Beiträge: 33

02.10.2006 10:11
Use of - with non Antworten

From a customer, I have a glossary that includes the term "non invasive ventilation". I would always write "non-invasive" and the lack of a - bothers me. Where do others stand on this issue and can one find any support for the use or non-use (see?) of a hyphen here? I have found nothing specifically on the use of non-, though other prefexes such as ex- and all- are recommended for use with a hyphen on the sites I have found.

ameisl Offline

Beiträge: 90

02.10.2006 10:50
#2 RE: Use of - with non Antworten

Ich habe dazu dieses:
# non-integral [hyphenate "non-" compounds if the following word begins with a vowel]
# non-Sinitic [hyphenate "non-" compounds before a capital letter; cf "Sinitic"]

gefunden. Allerdings gefällt mir die Version mit Bindestrich immer besser. Es erleichtert mir als Deutscher jedenfalls das Verständnis.

ameisl Offline

Beiträge: 90

02.10.2006 10:58
#3 RE: Use of - with non Antworten

Selkie Offline

Beiträge: 33

02.10.2006 11:00
#4 RE: Use of - with non Antworten
I had no idea about the vowel, though I knew about the capitalized word. And the technical sites really want us to write nonrenewable resources? I'm with you armeisl, I think it looks awful.

a Offline

Beiträge: 77

02.10.2006 18:18
#5 RE: Use of - with non Antworten

noninvasive: 1. Not penetrating the body, as by incision or injection: noninvasive surgery; a noninvasive diagnostic method.
2. Not invading healthy tissue: noninvasive cancer of the bladder. AHD

nonrenewable: 1. adj. That cannot be renewed: a nonrenewable license.
2. Of or relating to an energy source, such as oil or natural gas, or a natural resource, such as a metallic ore, that is not replaceable after it has been used. AHD

NOAD also noninvasive

§ 36. non-
The prefix non-, which means “not,” comes from Latin non. The prefix was used primarily in Roman law terms that were adopted into Old French, and then into English. By the 16th century, many compounds with non, mostly legal terms, were in use in English. But in the 17th century the prefix began to be used with many different kinds of words. Today non- can be added to almost any adjective. Some examples include nonessential, nonmetallic, and nonproductive. Non- also combines with many nouns, as in nonentity, nonresident, and nonviolence. Most recently non- is used in combination with some verbs to form adjectives, as in nonskid and nonstop.
The American Heritage® Book of English Usage. Copyright © 1996

nonreturnable AHD
according to the Oxford-Duden: non-returnable. It looks like a AE/BE difference.

Check here: Adjectives combined with nouns having an “-ED” suffix are hyphenated: “Frank was a hot-headed cop.”

But the AHD = hotheaded (1. Easily angered; quick-tempered: a hotheaded commander.

hotheadedness n.

NOAD (New Oxford American Dictionary) hothead (N) (also hot-head)
hotheaded ADJ.
hotheadedly ADV.
hotheadedness N.

hm -- us Offline

Beiträge: 4

02.10.2006 18:44
#6 RE: Use of - with non Antworten
Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., sect. 7.90.3, pp. 306ff.:
Compounds formed with prefixes are normally closed, whether they are nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs.
A hyphen should appear, however, (1) before a capitalized word or a numeral, such as sub-Saharan, pre-1950; (2) before a compound term, such as non-self-sustaining, pre–Vietnam War (before an open compound, an en dash is used; see 7.83); (3) to separate two i's, two a's, and other combinations of letters that might cause misreading, such as anti-intellectual, extra-alkaline, pro-life; (4) to separate the repeated terms in a double prefix, such as sub-subentry; (5) when a prefix or combining form stands alone, such as over- and underused, macro- and microeconomics.
non: nonviolent, nonevent, nonnegotiable, but non-beer-drinking

Garner, Modern Amer. Usage, p. 540:
Punctuation ...
J. Hyphen [-].
Generally, AmE is much less hospitable to hyphens than BrE. Words with prefixes are generally made solid: displeasure (not dis-pleasure), preshrunk (not pre-shrunk), postdebate (not post-debate), preordain (not pre-ordain). This no-hyphen style seems aesthetically superior, but reasonable people will differ on such a question. They can agree, however, that the hyphen must appear when an ambiguity or miscue is possible without it—e.g., pre-judicial (career), re-sign (the letter). See CO- & RE- PAIRS.

Fowler/Burchfield, Modern English Usage, 3rd ed., p. 525:
non- ... In AmE such compounds are likely to be written solid, i.e. without a hyphen.

I hate to spoil this happy consensus, but sorry, one more dissenting voice.

Obviously it's totally wrong to write 'non' as a separate word. Another similar common mistake is 'mid' alone, which should also always be a prefix, not a word.

However, writing 'non-' with a hyphen doesn't look much better to me, at least in AE. I've never heard of that supposed rule about adding a hyphen before a vowel, nor do I find any such rule in the standard reference sources. (The one about the capital letter does make sense, and Chicago confirms it.)

Really, for spelling, the best source is often just a dictionary. Check 'noninvasive' or whatever in M-W or AHD and see if it isn't, er, nonhyphenated. (-;

And in fact, even your computer spell-check should be able to handle that one, I would think, though I wouldn't be absolutely surprised if its word lists didn't cover every conceivable combination with non-.

Selkie, all this is assuming you're writing AE, that is. Anyone writing BE would need to check British dictionaries or style guides. In general, BE has traditionally used more hyphens with prefixes than AE, and non- seems to be one of the prefixes that at least used to be hyphenated in BE. But on the other hand, AE is fast influencing BE especially in areas such as hyphenation and word division, perhaps because the AE rules tend to be simpler and more consistent. So it's probably a good idea to see how the Guardian or the Times or something currently handles a case like this, as preferences may have changed even in the last 5 or 10 years.


Morning, ale. I'm with the dictionary on 'hotheaded,' BTW -- not sure what Paul Brian was thinking there. (-:

Selkie Offline

Beiträge: 33

03.10.2006 17:57
#7 RE: Use of - with non Antworten

I have researched a bit more and NIV is written as "Noninvasive ventilation" in the New England Journal of Medicine, but as "non-invasive ventilation" in the BMJ, which I imagine carries the same weight as the NEJM. So it seem that in this case, while AE seems antihyphen, the UK are pro-hyphen.

Anne(gb) Offline

Beiträge: 15

04.10.2006 00:02
#8 RE: Use of - with non Antworten

@Selkie: Even so (despite what you've found in the BMJ), I wouldn't say any BE-ler would really baulk at "noninvasive". In my professional career (I'm sooo ancient) spanning 3 decades, I've witnessed movement away from hyphenation in technical BE to non-hyphenation (or should that be nonhyphenation? ;-)) in the form of omitting the hyphens but still separating the words in expressions like "heat conducting medium" or in the form of joining the words together, as in "noninvasive". If you were actually writing for the BMJ itself, then obviously you'd need to follow their style recommendations. Marianne(BE) usually knows about that kind of thing, so you could try posting in the Leo forum again. In the meantime, here's a link to "hyphens" in the online Times style guide:,,2941-568,00.html.
Slightly OT: One term I have been writing unhyphenated (under duress) for about 20 years because the translation is eventually intended for the US is "nonionic surfactant". Now, maybe it's the foodie in me, but "onion" just leaps out at me every time I read it...

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