Chicago Style Workout 18: Hyphens, Part 2

More Reps!

This month’s workout, “Hyphens, Part 2,” centers on CMOS 17, paragraph 7.89 (our famous hyphenation table), and in particular section 2, “Compounds according to Parts of Speech.”

Advanced editors might tackle the questions cold; learners can study paragraph 7.89, section 2, of the Manual before answering the questions.

Hyphenation is  tricky, so here are some tips:

  • The examples in each question in this workout are either all correct or all incorrect.
  • Although this workout is the first one based on the brand-new 17th edition of the Manual, the styles covered here remain the same as in the 16th edition.

(Subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online may click through to the linked sections of the Manual. For a 30-day free trial of CMOS Online, click here.)

Note: Dictionaries and style guides sometimes disagree. These questions are designed to test knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style, which prefers Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition. Other style guides may follow a different dictionary.

Chicago Style Workout 17: Hyphens, Part 2 (CMOS 7.89)

1. Compound modifiers consisting of an adjective + a noun are hyphenated before but not after a noun.

small-state senators
high-quality alkylate
middle-class neighborhood
the neighborhood is middle class
a.  
b.  
2. Compound modifiers consisting of an adverb ending in ly + a participle or adjective are open whether before or after a noun.

highly paid ragpicker
fully open society
he was mildly amusing
a.  
b.  
3. Certain compounds, including those with more, most, less, least, and very, can usually be left open unless ambiguity threatens.

the most efficient method
less prolific artist
more thorough exam
rather boring play
the most skilled workers (most in number)
but
the most-skilled workers (most in skill)
a.  
b.  
4. Compounds consisting of a gerund + a noun are normally hyphenated when serving as a noun, but open when serving as an adjective before a noun.

running-shoes
cooking-class
running shoe
store
a.  
b.  
5. Compounds consisting of a noun + a gerund are usually open when serving as a noun, but hyphenated when serving as an adjective before a noun.

mountain climbing
a mountain-climbing enthusiast
time-clock-punching employees
a.  
b.  
6. Noun + noun modifiers that indicate a single function (that is, the first noun modifies the second noun) are usually hyphenated when serving as nouns.

student-nurse
restaurant-owner
directory-path
tenure-track
a.  
b.  
7. Noun + noun compounds that indicate two functions (that is, both nouns are equal) are always hyphenated.

writer-director
philosopher-king
city-state
city-state 
governance
a.  
b.  
8. Modifiers consisting of a noun + a numeral or enumerator are always open, whether in noun or adjective form.

type A
a type A executive
type 2 diabetes
size 12 slacks
a page 1 headline
a.  
b.  
9. Adjectival phrases are hyphenated before a noun but are usually open after a noun.

an over-the-counter drug
a matter-of-fact reply
an up-to-date solution
sold over the counter
her tone was matter of fact
his equipment was up to date
a.  
b.  
10. In Chicago style, proper nouns and adjectives relating to geography or nationality are always hyphenated.

African-Americans
African-American
president
a Chinese-American
French-Canadians
South-Asian
Americans
the Scotch-Irish
the North-Central region
Middle-Eastern countries
a.  
b.  

 

Photo: Courtesy CDC/Amanda Mills, acquired from Public Health Image Library.

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