SUMMARY: hyphenating many and one

Subject: SUMMARY: hyphenating many and one
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 16:10:36 -0000

I asked which is better:

hyphens: many-to-one translation and one-to-one translation
no hyphens: many to one translation and one to one translation

and got a satisfactory unanimity of response from Catherine Janzen, Doug
Grossman, Geoff Hart, Kim Roper, Dick Margulis, Kim McGarghan, and Glenn
Maxey*3. Thanks to all.

All agree, for varying reasons, that it should be the first option,
many-to-one and one-to-one, with hyphens.

Dick Margulis: In the US, the first example is standard.
Geoff Hart: Go with the hyphens; much clearer.
Kim Roper: keep the hyphens. xxx-to-one should be considered the adjective.
Without the hyphens, the modifier on translation could look like (the
number) one.
Doug Grossman: DEFINITELY with the hyphens, as it is acting as a modifier of
the noun....
Glenn Maxey: The first version is better mostly because all of the words are
serving as an adjective modifying "translation." When "many-to-one" and
"one-to-one" aren't hyphenated, the reader stumbles over this trying to
figure out what "many" refers to. "Many what?"
Catherine Janzen: With hyphens because the relationship between "many" and
"one" is tightly defined entity if you are talking databases and still a
definable thing if you aren't talking databases.

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

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