To Hyphenate or Not to Hyphenate. . .
Steve Bainbridge has stumbled upon a problem that I’m sure has been keeping many of you up at night:
I write about corporate decisionmaking a lot, which means I use the word decisionmaking (also decisionmakers) a lot. I habitually spell decisionmaking as one word, which seems to drive law review editors batty. Sometimes they split it into two words; sometimes they hyphenate; and somethimes they leave it alone but complain. What do you think? Take the poll in the left sidebar.
I write about policy-making, so am all too familiar with this issue. The Chicago Manual of Style sets forth the following rule:
Don’t use a hyphen for simple verb phrases: She is good at decision making. Do use a hyphen when the phrase modifies a noun: decision-making process
There is, so far as I know, no instance where the conjoined “decisionmaking” is proper, although I’ve seen it written that way.