1. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Modern punctuation in nonfiction

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Aug 18, 2015.

    I am seeing punctuation for ranges (i.e. nonfiction) headed in this direction:

    25-30 year old men
    25 and 30 year old men
    25 or 30 year old men
    20-30, 35-40, and 45-50 year old men
    20-30, 35-40, and 45-50 year olds
    5-10 inch aperture
    20-30 gallon bucket
    50-60 mile radius
    10-20 foot wide opening
    15-20 foot deep water
    12-15 foot long piece of lumber

    But for singular entities hyphens are used:

    30-year-old men
    a 30-year-old
    a 30-gallon bucket
    10-inch aperture
    20-foot-wide opening
    15-foot-long piece of lumber
    20-foot-deep water
    60-mile radius

    ... and so on.

    Do the first set of examples involving ranges look clear to you upon first reading them? I think they do, and they bypass all the suspended hyphenation gobbledygook.

    Would you support their usage in nonfiction, and would you use them as an alternative to suspended hyphenation?

    Please let me know your thoughts.


    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  2. tinaflanigan

    tinaflanigan New Member

    Aug 22, 2015
    Likes Received:
    These are all correct. They are much easier to read, as is, than employing clunky suspension hyphens. I read each of them and understood exactly what you meant.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015

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