How should be the word parking correctly split at the end of the line? Should it be par- king or park- ing? The latter is suggested by my word processor, but I would say the former is correct. Which one is it?

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    We generally hyphenate at morpheme boundaries, so the separated pieces are more intelligible - for instance, park is a free morpheme (word) and -ing is a bound morpheme or suffix. This is not the same point at which syllable boundaries fall in speech. Mar 16, 2014 at 20:17
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    For future reference, dictionary.com shows both hy·phen·a·tion boundaries and [si-lab-ik] breaks. Mar 16, 2014 at 21:48
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about typesetting Mar 16, 2014 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


The former is how we divide parking into syllables in speech (following the Maximum Onset Principle):


The latter is how we divide parking when we need to break it across lines in writing. We identify the suffix -ing and separate it from the previous morpheme, ignoring pronunciation:


However, there is an exception to this rule. If a letter before the suffix has been doubled, the hyphen goes between the doubled pair:

plan·ning    (not *plann·ing)

  • Oh, so both are in fact correct? Amazing.
    – the swine
    Mar 16, 2014 at 21:44
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    @theswine no, only park-ing is correct.
    – Tim S.
    Mar 17, 2014 at 2:31
  • One is acceptable for speech, the other is correct for writing. If I want to pronounce it as "park-ing", it's correct, but sounds odd. A similar case: "mistake". It is often pronounced "mi-stake", but should be written "mis-take", as its origin is a wrong/erroneous (mis) action (take).
    – Phil Perry
    May 20, 2014 at 13:36

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