No hyphen needed in ‘goer’ words

An often confused hyphen rule is whether or not one should be placed before goer, as in concert-goer.

While various house publishing rules differ, I’m of the belief that punctuation marks ought to be eliminated whenever they can. Too many such marks tends to slow readers’ ability to work their way through a sentence, like speed bumps in a parking lot.

Given this, I always advise following The Associated Press Stylebook’s rule, which says no hyphen.
CORRECT: concertgoer, moviegoer, partygoer, theatergoer
INCORRECT: concert-goer, movie-goer, party-goer, theater-goer

There is another issue at hand here – words with goer at the end often read strangely, whether in print or said aloud. But that’s just a matter of personal taste, and goer words appear to be here to stay, as they’re less clunky than saying those who attended the concert.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.