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  1. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Aug 13, 2015.

    Hello. Is it okay to leave out the hyphens in the phrasal adjective below? The only thing I'd leave in is the hyphen in “forty-five”, because it's an ordinal number between 21 and 99, correct? Is this sentence acceptable exactly as written?

    √ Luis said, "Then why did she give up a forty-five thousand dollar a year job?"
     
  2. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds clumsy. I'd write it:

    Luis said, "Then why did she give up a job that paid forty-five thousand a year?"

    As for your question, I'm not sure where you're saying the missing hyphens would go?
     
  3. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Some would say OK, but methinks you could fully hyphenate as forty-five-thousand-dollar-a-year job. One long adjective describing the job.

    The phrase could be made more concise e.g. ... a job that paid forty-five grand (per annum is implied.)
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'd stick with the hyphenation in the original sentence by the OP. It's clear what he's saying.

    As for rearranging the sentence - yes, you could, but this is dialogue, so if that's the way the character would say it, then I'd stick with it.
     
  5. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Thanks.
     
  6. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Now, for a verbatim transcription, I have the following:

    Mr. Connor said, “The Atco Corporation is a sixty to seventy million dollar a year business juggernaut.”

    Obviously, I am not permitted to alter the wording. Would you include hyphens in that range and, if so, where would you put them? Or is it written okay as is?

    I value your input... Thank you.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'd probably write:

    "The Atco Corporation is a sixty- to seventy-million dollar a year business juggernaut."

    You could add four more hyphens but I think it would look odd.

    EDIT: Now that I'm looking at it, I don't think it needs hyphens after sixty or seventy. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's wrong :)
     
  8. jakeybum
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    So leave it as I had it originally, correct?

    Mr. Connor said, “The Atco Corporation is a sixty to seventy million dollar a year business juggernaut.”
     
  9. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    To hold this clumsy phrase together, I've decided to go with:

    a sixty-to-seventy-million-dollar-a-year business juggernaut

    The hyphens undoubtedly aid readability here.
     
  10. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    The New Yorker uses hyphens with the word "to" for an age range:

    twenty-to-thirty-year-old men

    So I think that the same principle could be applied to my example.

    And The New Yorker's punctuation is about as good as it gets.
     
  11. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    If we use a room number in a quote, do we write it like this? I was taught that we speak in words, not in numbers.

    Diane said, "Bill is in room number seven." (ALSO: ". . . in room seven.")

    Val said, "Her phone number is three- five-six, eight-four-seven-one." How do you write this one? Hyphens between the numbers, up until the comma?

    The cashier was assigned to register seven. / The cashier was assigned to register number seven.
     
  12. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like yourself, my understanding is that numbers in dialogue are spelt, whereas in the narrative we use figures. It's a general rule, but not always that simple to apply.

    For instance, in my novel, I have a drug called C9. I don't have to call it this, of course, but I like it. However, it does raise the question how do I write it in dialogue? 'C-Nine' doesn't have quite the same visual impact, does it?

    As for your own question, I'd say it's correct as you have it.
     
  13. jakeybum
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    Spell out the telephone numbers (with the hyphens), too, as I have it?
     

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