To Hyphen or Not to Hyphen

Day Three of Fourteen:

This was hard.  After spending the last few hours watching my little Olympic hopeful dribble and run and pivot and shoot, I am home and I am beat.  But, I made a deal with myself to post fourteen days in a row for Jane’s sake and the sake of improving my language usage – so here I am.  But not with my husband’s blessings … he’s watching TV in the chair next to me but for some reason or another it bothers him when I write in the evening hours … even though he is content watching Gold Rush or Shark Attack or Axmen or Deadliest Catch or whatever happens to be on The Discovery Channel – don’t get me wrong, I like Deadliest Catch … really, I do … but why can’t I do this while he does that?  I’m just sayin’. 
But enough about me, let’s get on with today’s lesson, which happens to be another tidbit about hyphens.  The English language used to use hyphens a lot but there is a push to get rid of the unnecessary hyphen.  Still, according to Jane, there are some definite rules that one should remember when deciding to hyphenate – I will give you three.  If you want more go HERE or go HERE and see what the Oxford folks have to say:
1.  Use a hyphen for any word beginning with the prefix ex like ex-wife and ex-ample.  (Just kidding!  Do not use a hyphen for example but do for ex-wife.)
2.  Hyphenate all words beginning with self ex-cept (again, that was a joke) EXCEPT selfish and selfless.
3.  Hyphenate prefixes when they precede proper nouns like un-American or non-English speaker. 
The harder part about hyphens is the compound word usage, but, alas it is late … so you are on your own for that lesson …
Oh, and because I am curious … am I the only one who tries to write a lot as one word (alot)?? 

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