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  1. gorweave
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    gorweave New Member

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    Can We Omit Suspended Hyphenation in These?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by gorweave, Mar 19, 2014.

    Can we forgo the ugly suspended hyphens in these? It looks so much cleaner and clearer to a reader than to have those dangling hyphens. Would you support it in professional writing? (I hope so!)

    The movie appealed to five, six, and seven-year-olds. (Rather than: The movie appealed to five-, six-, and seven-year-olds.)

    first, second, and third-grade activities
    (Rather than: first-, second-, and third-grade activities)

    two and four-wheel drive
    (Rather than: two- and four-wheel drive)

    fifteen and thirty-year mortgages
    (Rather than: fifteen- and thirty-year mortgages)

    pre and post-war
    (Rather than: pre- and post war)

    a one to two-week vacation
    (Rather than: a one- to two-week vacation)

    three, six, and nine-month updates
    (Rather than: three-, six-, and nine-month updates)

    open and closed-door policies
    (Rather than: open- and closed-door policies)

    long and short-term loans
    (Rather than: long- and short-term loans)

    But: “a ten percent-off coupon”
    (The reader needs the single hyphen, I think, to fully grasp that the coupon is entitling the customer to ten percent savings off [deducted from] the original price

    Thank you.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You can't omit them because that changes the meaning of the sentence. To use one of your examples, "fifteen and thirty-year mortgages" means you have one (or many) thirty-year mortgage(s) and fifteen other mortgages. The suspended hyphen makes it clear that you're talking about a fifteen-year mortgage.
     
    vera2014 likes this.
  3. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    No.
    Punctuation isn't about looks. It's about sense and meaning.
     
  4. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    A fun read, that will give you an appreciation for the need and usage of punctuation is, Lynn Truss's, Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
     
  5. HallowMan
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    HallowMan Banned

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    I have a word combination like this metallo-porphyrins and -phthalocyanines which eventually gives a linebreak between the hyphen and the word phthalocyanines. I tried to include the ngerman package as described here. This works fine but messes up the quotes used in the text elsewhere (I used so far "word"). I know I could use ''word`` instead for having english quotes. However the suspended hyphen appears once in the text and the quotes several times in the document (several files). I would therefore prefere to use a different solution for the hyphen. If this is not possible and I have to change the quotes, then I still get the ugly bookmarks and would need an alternative to this solution.
     

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