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Decision making or decision-making?

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By Mary Morel

Reader’s question: Should decision making be hyphenated, i.e. decision-making?

Answer: You can use either decision making or decision-making.

Just be consistent.

Everyone in the team had a role in the decision making.
Everyone in the team had a role in the decision-making.

Hyphenate decision-making when the two words act as a unit and have an adjectival meaning, e.g. decision-making paper.

The decision-making process lasted for weeks.

If in doubt about whether to use a hyphen, consult your favourite dictionary.

PS  Since writing this post, I think that decision-making is gaining in prominence. The Chicago Manual of Style now recommends a hyphen and the online Macquarie Dictionary says decision-making.

Learn more

Read my blog on hyphens.

Learn more about punctuation with my online course, An A to Z of Punctuation (A$39)

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