Re: Real-world .... as an adjective
Is the hyphen in real-world EVER appropriate?
Yes, whenever "real-world" serves as a compound modifier, as in your example "real-world testing."
Without the hyphen, you might be describing "world testing" that's "real."
Other familiar examples (taken from the Chicago Manual of Style) include "white-clooar worker" (not a collar worker who's white!), "upper-middle-class families," and "able-bodied seaman."
CMS 14 says:
"Formerly, adjectival compounds...were generally hyphenated before
the noun they modified... The Unifersity of Chicago Press now takes
the position that they hyphen may be omitted in all cases where there
is little or no risk of ambiguity or hesitation. It also means, of
course, that when ambiguity is likely, the compound adjective,
whatever its position, should be hyphenated."
One -- Can anyone confirm from some semi-authoritative
source that the hyphen is EVER appropriate for this
phrase when used as an adjective?
For consistency, I *always* hyphenate compound modifiers--that way, there's no ambiguity about whether ther might be any ambiguity. :)
The authoritative source is Chicago Manual of Style, along with other standard usage books in my personal library.
Two -- If not, is there a rule for hyphens in similar
situations such as adjective phrases that would apply
that would make this EVER appopriate?
Well, that's what you've got--an adjective phrase. If it occurs *after* the noun it modifies, though, it should probably not be hyphenated, as in "the seaman is able bodied," "testing in the real world," and so on.
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Real-world .... as an adjective: From: Jon Jacob Jinglehymerschmidt
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