1. victo

    victo Active Member

    May 21, 2010
    Likes Received:

    cmos reply

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by victo, Jun 8, 2015.

    Chicago endorsed this (45-55-year-old men), not this (45–55-year-old men). They also said "$3-$5-million-a-year baseball contract (with just hyphens) was preferred over "$ 3–$5-million-a-year baseball contract" (with the combo of en dashes and hyphens).

    Chicago replied to an email of mine and said this:

    "Please see CMOS 6.80; an en dash is used to prevent confusion; it’s a style choice, not a rule that cannot be broken.

    "None of your phrases are enhanced by an en dash. It doesn’t improve comprehension, and the mixture of hyphens and en dashes simply looks like bad typesetting. If you are forced to use them, just use hyphens."

    All the best,

    CMOS Staff
    My question is, based on their guidance above, would the following examples fit their criteria and punctuation recommendation—yes or no? This, of course, is nonfiction.

    a 2-3-foot hole
    a 2-3-foot-deep hole
    a 1-2-inch laceration
    a 1-2-inch-deep laceration
    a 10-15-mile drive
    a 10-15-mile-long drive
    a $5-$10-per-month surcharge
    a $1-$2-per-day surcharge
    a $90-$100-million-a-year industry

    a $3,000-$4,000-a-month savings
    a 10-20%-a-year increase in crime
    20-40-minute intervals
    a 3-4-inch pipe
    a 3-4-inch-thick pipe
    a 4-6-liter beaker
    12-24-ounce beverages
    a 35-40-degree difference
    a 75-100-meter sprint
    20-25-, 35-40-, and 40-45-year-old men
    20-25-, 35-40-, and 40-45-year-olds

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  2. bigbrain28

    bigbrain28 New Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Personally, whether correct by someone else's handbook or not, I prefer to use a tilde when showing a range. It feels intuitive to me to say 30~40 chickens. Something about that casual shape makes me feel like its a possible range, rather than a complete set.

    As if 30-40 Chickens describes chickens numbered 30 through 40 and 30~40 means some quantity in that range. To be honest, there's also nothing wrong with replacing one hyphen with a two letter word, "to"

    Men aged 30 to 40, 12 to 24oz Beers. Especially when the phrase after also has hyphens, such as 30 to 40-year-old men.

    But then, I am not a learned scholar, just the guy who reads and thinks for himself based on intuition and a rudimentary grasp of writing rules.

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