Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes
Q. Should “time travel” be hyphenated as a verb? CMOS 5.25 says it’s okay to use nouns as verbs, but there are no two-word examples. “Time travel” isn’t even in M-W!
Q. CMOS does not mention uses of the en dash for conflict or connection, as in “the liberal–conservative debate” or “the Radical–Unionist coalition.” Should it be inferred that CMOS opposes such uses?
Q. Hi! Your guidelines for hyphenating a compound modifier before a noun cite clarity as a primary reason for doing so. But what if the compound modifier is enclosed in parentheses, such as in the phrase “global (big picture) revision”? Obviously I would hyphenate “big picture” before a noun if that modifier wasn’t enclosed in parentheses, but in this example clarity is not an issue. What say y’all?
Q. I know that you use “to” and not an en dash with “from”: “from 2012 to 2016 (not from 2012–16).” But what about with “for”? Should it be “for 25 to 30 minutes” or “for 25–30 minutes”?
Q. I understood that compounds formed with prefixes are normally closed. However, I see a hyphen used on television and in print with all sorts of prefixes—for example, “co-founder” or “non-violent.” Are compounds formed with prefixes still normally closed? Or has spellcheck run amok?
Q. It’s 2020. Can we please stop using a hyphen in “dropdown”?
Q. Can Chicago please provide clarification on hyphenation when “high school” is used as an adjective? For instance, do you prefer “middle and high school students” or “middle- and high-school students”? Why? One never sees “high-school curriculum” or “high-school classroom” in educational writing, but I don’t fully understand how the rules are applied toward permanent compounds used as adjectives in CMOS. Thank you!
Q. Lately I see more and more hyphenated -ly phrases, especially in digital communication—e.g., “a hastily-made decision.” Is this just my cognitive bias inventing a trend that isn’t there, or have your editors noticed more -ly hyphens as well? I know they’re more unnecessary than incorrect, so am I being fussy to mark them for deletion if they’re used consistently and doing no real harm to reader comprehension? Thanks as always for your insight.
Q. In a recent Q&A the hyphens look like en dashes to me. Are they, and if they are, why?
Q. I have an ongoing disagreement with another scholar that I’m hoping you can help resolve. He suggests that the phrase “early modern” requires hyphenation when used as an adjective (ex.: “early-modern literature”). I would instead say “early modern literature”; is there a right answer here?