TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: hyphens in multiple-word mo From:cjs10 -at- CORNELL -dot- EDU Date:Fri, 27 Sep 1996 17:13:41 -0400
Why is yours a silly question, Katherine? It's called a suspended hyphen,
where I come from. And it's very useful.
(Apologies to the bandwidth-conscious for the fact that I have included
the entire message -- I'm writing in Pine, and it's veeeeery suhloooow.)
On Fri, 27 Sep 1996, Katherine D. Fisher wrote:
> 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."