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What is the ruling on phrases such as "upside down" and "right side up?" Do they receieve any hyphens at all?

I'm getting contradictory rulings from multiple sources.

For example, Merriam-Webster says that "upside down" only receives a hyphen when it's used as an adjective. If used as an adverb, however, it stays as is.

Other sources either say the exact opposite or that they never get hyphens. Which one is it?

Here's a sentence with "right side up" in it:

"Place the letter 'e' on a clean microscope slide right side up."

Hyphen or no?
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Hi,

Let me suggest to you that in actual usage hyphens today are often avoided as much as possible, in order to avoid making the writing seem too 'fussy'.

Clive Emotion: smile
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So are you saying that the general ruling is to not include hyphens specifically for "upside down" and "right side up?"

I know certain phrases must have hyphens. How do you distinguish between those that do require a hyphen and those that do not?
Hi,

So are you saying that the general ruling is to not include hyphens specifically for "upside down" and "right side up?" I worded my comment carefully and spoke only of what people actually do. I said nothing about any 'ruling'.

I know certain phrases must have hyphens. How do you distinguish between those that do require a hyphen and those that do not? Very, very generally speaking, I would say by reading a lot.

On the other hand, I realize that a rules-based approach is often helpful to learners, so have a look here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyphen

However, note that the above site includes the following remark.

The use of the hyphen in English compound nouns and verbs has, in general, been steadily declining. Compounds that might once have been hyphenated are increasingly left with spaces or are combined into one word.

Best wishes, Clive