Re: Hyphen Placement

Subject: Re: Hyphen Placement
From: "Matthew B. Hicks" <matt -at- UNIDATA -dot- UCAR -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 18 May 1995 11:48:10 -0600

On Thu, 18 May 1995, Kristin Hackney wrote:

> I'm fairly new to the list, so I apologize in advance if this has been
> discussed here before.

> I'd like to know which of these are preferred and why:

> CD-ROM-based reference books
> CD-ROM based reference books
> CD ROM-based reference books

> Many of us in our tech communications group don't like the look of two hyphens
> in a row (as in the first example) and would like to know if either of the
> others are acceptable.

If I'm not mistaken, CMS would dictate that an en-dash be used between
"ROM" and "based". This is their style for creating a hyphenated term in
which one of the components is already a hyphenated term. Thus:

CD-ROM--based reference books (where "--" represents an en dash)

From CMS 13:

5.94 The en dash is also used in place of a hyphen in a compound
adjective one element of which consists of two words or of a
hyphenated word:

New York--London flight
post--Civil War period
quasi-public--quasi-judicial body
_but_: non-English-speaking countries

Matt Hicks, Tech. Writer, Unidata * I may not agree with what you
Boulder, CO, (303)497-8676, ******* say, but I'll defend to the
matt -at- unidata -dot- ucar -dot- edu ************* death my right to mock you.

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