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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Quickie Hyphen Question

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 3, 2014.

    • Joe said, "I have a
    4-year 2-month-old child."


    I say no hyphen is needed after "year" as shown. The sentence, I think, is punctuated correctly as shown. Do you agree?

    Thank you.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    btw, the numbers need to be spelled out...

    save yourself and your readers all that trouble and rewrite the sentence more simply/readably:

     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks, maia.

    But if that were a verbatim quote, could we forgo that one hyphen?

    Example:

    Joe said, "I have a
    4-year 2-month-old child."

    Alternatively,
    Joe said, “I have a
    four-year two-month-old child.”


    This is nonfiction, and I think the numbers are fine for ease of readability.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nonfiction or not, if it's dialog, you still have to spell out numbers, because we speak in words, not numerals...

    and even if someone actually said that, you don't have to quote them verbatim... you can paraphrase it to not have to stick in all those necessary hyphens, due to the age being used as an adjective... so, it can be done like this:

     

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