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  1. SethG

    SethG Member

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    Punctuation look okay in all?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SethG, Jun 7, 2016.

    I hate dangling (suspension) hyphens. That said, would you give a thumbs-up for the punctuation in all examples below — yes or no? I think they are crystal clear as written.

    It affects 45-55 year old men.
    20 and 30 year mortgages
    10-20 gallon containers
    50-100 mile radius

    But-

    55-year-old men
    30-year mortgage
    20-gallon containers
    100-mile radius

    Thank you.
     
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  2. A man called Valance

    A man called Valance Senior Member

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    Yes to the first lot. Not needed in the second, I think.
     
  3. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    Contrary to @A man called Valance (sorry, old chap — or should that be pardner?), I'd say both groups are correct (and The New Oxford Style Manual would agree).
     
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  4. A man called Valance

    A man called Valance Senior Member

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    Then I stand corrected @Wayjor Frippery. Thank you old bean.
     
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  5. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I was of the mind hyphens are for like half-portmanteauxing, contracting and compounding things? And that you want to be giving them a little tug really, along that horizontal axis. Stretching them into en dashes?

    ETA when containing number ranges
     
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  6. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    @SethLoki is on the money. Now it's me that stands corrected. Stretch those little rangey blighters (only the ranges — don't go mad), just a touch.
     
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  7. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    People are agreeing that there are no dangling hyphens needed for "20 to 30 year mortgages"? I would write that as "20- to 30-year mortgages."

    My understanding of the hyphens is that they're meant to increase clarity. Without the hyphen, we'd be left, at least sometimes, wondering whether we're talking about 20 or 30 year-long mortgages. I mean, we aren't in this context because it's familiar enough, but if you're trying to apply the rule uniformly you can't look at context too much...
     
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