Q. You wouldn’t write “lineeditor,” so why “copyeditor”? Please help before my head explodes!
Q. Working on software that has an e-shop, I see a very different use of the word “checkout” vs. “check out.” Should it be “checkout now” or “check out now”?
Q. Does CMOS prefer “best seller” and “best-selling” per the dictionary spelling (over AP style of one word, no hyphen, for both)?
Q. I work at an arts organization that has two artistic directors. Should I refer to them as “co-artistic directors” or “artistic co-directors”?
Q. I can’t find any consensus on this: does “quarter century” require a hyphen? Merriam-Webster doesn’t even have the term in its dictionary! (The nerve.) It seems that other online dictionaries do (and they also have a hyphen with “half-century”), but I thought it was odd that I couldn’t find “quarter century” referred to as a noun in either CMOS or M-W. Thanks!
Q. I recently read an article about a con artist who was described as “running a fine wine scam.” The ambiguity—is it a fine scam with wine or a scam with fine wine?—is driving me to drink. Is it acceptable in this situation to write finewine as one word to resolve the ambiguity? Please uncork me a good answer.
Q. A colleague wants to use a hyphen in the phrase “Friday-afternoon lecture.” But isn’t this an overly rigid application of the phrasal adjective hyphenation rule in a case where it doesn’t apply? “Friday afternoon” is not a true phrasal adjective, but a temporal phrase. “Join me for Sunday morning brunch” is the same as saying, “Join me for brunch (on) Sunday morning.” Interested in your view on which is correct, and why.
Q. Some compound adjectives are always hyphenated, even after the verb. Is worry-free hyphenated after the verb, as in this sentence: Audit trails and compliance tools make the process worry-free?
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”?)
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?