Re: hyphens in multiple-word mo

Subject: Re: hyphens in multiple-word mo
From: "Katherine D. Fisher" <kdfisher -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 14:37:40 -0700

Karen Lew wrote:

> The sentence in question read something like this: " . . .[whatever] is
> department owned and operated . . ."

> As the technical editor, I inserted hyphens as follows: " . . .[whatever] is
> department-owned and -operated . . . " using the grammatical logic of a
> temporary compound used as an adjective.

> The author (and our mutual boss) kept removing the hyphen before *operated*. I
> finally just gave up.

> Yes, I realize it would have been much better to merely rewrite the sentence:
> " . . . [whatever], owned and operated by the department, . . ." but that was
> not an option at the time.

> I can't find this *specific situation* in Chicago Manual of Style, beyond
> what's said in 6.31 (and don't have Bernstein of anyone else at hand at the
> moment). Anyone have any thoughts on this? (silly question, of course).

> Thanks,

> Karen L. Lew
> Sr. Technical Writer/Editor
> Environmental Protection Department
> Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Forget that Chicago Style Manual. Here's the rule: if the compound
adjectives FOLLOW the noun they are modifying, don't hyphenate them. If
they precede it, then hyphenate them:

"Department-owned and -operated equipment."


"Equipment that is deparment owned and operated."

Kathy Fisher
Tech Writer - New Mexico

P.S. I'd consult the Shipley Style Guide. I think it's the best. It's
easy to understand and uses lots of common sense.

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