Anonymous:
I know the rules in Chicago Manual, etc. for using hyphens with prefixes (generally it's not done, except for certain circumstances). However, there is a context I have not seen addressed anywhere.

When you have a compound term like non-life-threatening you would hypnenate it all as a compound adjective. However, what about if it's used as a noun, not an adjective, such as:

anti-money laundering

nonworking class

As you can see, whether or not you use the hyphen with the prefix, it is still confusing or misleading. I don't want to say the laundering is "anti-money" or refer to a class of people that is nonworking. What I want to do is to have the prefix apply to the whole term, not just the first word, in other words non-working-class as opposed to working class. But using all those hyphens really only seems appropriate for compound adjectives, not nouns, and excessive hyphenation, especially in technical writing, is frowned upon. What is correct?

Thanks
It never looks good, and perhaps the best approach is to rephrase: opposition to money laundering. However, if I were stuck with it, I would use 2 hyphens there.
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Anonymous:
Hi. I this this question is related to the tread topic. I was wondering how we could make sure that we need to hyphenate words to be a noun. Let us pretend that there is a very popular movie named xxx (and I think we should slant the title of the movie, and we want to make a compound word like "xxx-mania" (is that a compound word anyway?) I was wondering why it couldn't be the phrase "xxx mania," without a hyphen. What are the things we should look for? Is making sure it doesn't mislead readers one thing we should keep in mind? Would you recommend others?
Anonymous:
Unfortunately "Anti Money Laundering" is the title of a curriculum I am working on as lead editor, so I can't avoid it. I've also seen it as the name of an organization (used randomly and nonchalantly both with and without a hyphen between the first two words). But "anti" isn't even a word that can stand by itself, so I need to know what is the correct way to write this.
In the first place, you need no hyphen if the whole thing is not an adjective:

Harry Potter mania is sweeping the country. (noun)

Harry-Potter-mania backlash has been violent. (an adjective, but awkward)

Better: The backlash against Harry Potter mania has been violent.
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The most common use I've seen is "anti-money laundering" which is the way it's used on government Web sites and a few non-profits that I saw.

If the organization you're writing about it inconsistent in their own use, then they can't object to anything you do, so just be 100% consistent yourself after you pick one.
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