Q. There’s a club for people who’ve worked at my office for twenty-five or more years. It is called the Twenty-Five Year Club. I am wondering why they never added a hyphen between “five” and “year” and also if it’s okay to retain the capital letters for all the words that are hyphenated. I don’t want to rock the boat around here for a club that’s been in existence longer than all of us have been in the Publications Office. We are preparing the program for their annual dinner and latest round of inductees. Should we let them retain their old name? Has this come up in other places?
Q. When I entered an incorrect password for your website, I received this message: “Invalid Log In.” Shouldn’t “log in” be “login” in this case?
Q. Can you resolve an apparent contradiction concerning compounds? The term in question is copyeditor. According to section 7.85, copyeditor seems to be classified as a “permanent compound.” Section 7.78 offers the following definition of that term: “A permanent compound is one that has been accepted into the general vocabulary and can be found in the dictionary.” Yet www.merriam-webster.com (a recommended resource in the CMOS bibliography) has copy editor. I’ve seen the Q&A answer that guesses at the justification of the noun copyeditor on the basis of copyediting as a verb. And I do agree with you that there are more worthy issues to tackle. Just wondering if there is something we’re missing in the apparent contradiction.
Q. Is login a verb or only a noun? I’m wondering because the following sentence seems wrong to me: “To login to your personal account, enter your user name and password.” Shouldn’t it say log in as two words rather than login?
Q. If a writer presents a compound formed with a prefix that does not appear in Merriam-Webster’s, should it be hyphenated? Or is it OK to “create” a word by closing it up (if it doesn’t look too weird)? Of course I can’t think of any examples at the moment, but this comes up occasionally and I am often not sure how to proceed.
Q. I’m editing a manuscript that uses the terms over-commitment and under-commitment, sometimes in the same paragraph. The writers have hyphenated both terms. Does it look inconsistent to make the first term one word and the second term two words? Would it be less jarring to hyphenate both, as they have done? I’m fine with overcommitment as one word and under commitment as two, but I need some backing up so I can remove the unnecessary hyphens.
Q. We have a raging style debate in our office. Our online editor says videogame should be one word. This usage is already common on more tech-focused blogs, and he says it is more accurate, as the interactive video genre has become so much more than a type of “game.” AP says two words. What does CMOS say?
Q. Section 7.85 says that a noun + participle phrase is hyphenated before a noun that it modifies but is open otherwise (e.g., “a clothes-buying grandmother” vs. “a day of clothes buying”). However, would a verb shown as hyphenated in the dictionary retain the hyphen in its participle form? For example, Merriam-Webster hyphenates the verb “to color-code,” so would “color-coded” be hyphenated or open in the sentence “The binders were color-coded”?
Q. Is there a rule I can point to in self-defense to justify the following hyphenation of compound nouns: “in private- and business life”? Business life is an unhyphenated compound noun in this sentence, but the first term, private, is hyphenated by virtue of being separated from the second term of its compound form, life. Does that sound right?
Q. I see three different treatments for upper right in the Q&A responses: upper right, upper-right, upper right-hand. Are there any guidelines for this term? Is it hyphenated as an adjective and not as a noun? (“In the upper-right corner” vs. “In the upper right”?)