Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes

Q. Does half need a hyphen when modifying a verb? For example, “He half listened to her story” or “She half walked, half ran.”

Q. In mathematics it is common to refer to an important construction or theorem due to several authors by joining their names together with hyphens. For example, one often refers to the Cartan-Eilenberg spectral sequence for the spectral sequence of Cartan and Eilenberg. There seems to be room for confusion when an author’s name is already hyphenated. For example, some authors refer to the conjecture of Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer as the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, whereas others write the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture. Is there a style which you recommend?

Q. My colleagues in marketing add a full space before and after a hyphen rather than using a dash without spaces. I agree with CMOS on the proper uses of hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes, but haven’t seen any direction about the spaces before and after these characters. I tend to kern a little air between the beginning and end of a dash if the font jams them together, but it is nothing remotely close to a full space.

Q. Do you recommend using suspended compounds and hyphenation in the following cases? hard- and software; up- and downgrade.

Q. Hello, my question concerns hyphenating the term “anti-Second Amendment.” Wherever I see it, it is hyphenated as in my first sentence, but if the purpose of the hyphen is to let the reader know which of the words are linked, then “anti Second-Amendment” would seem to make more sense. But my spelling checker flags this alternate hyphenation. Is this an instance where we would be justified breaking the rule?

Q. How does one, using a word processor, make an em dash/en dash distinguishable from a hyphen?

Q. A recent article in Science magazine included the following sentence: “Every 10 weeks, Sundquist gets 32 bee sting-like injections of the nerve-numbing botulism toxin into her face and neck.” Should that be “bee-sting-like”?

Q. Dear wise and knowledgeable CMOS person, a fellow writer and editor and I can’t agree. She insists that “well-trained dog” shouldn’t have a hyphen. I think it must have that hyphen. We were both pretty tired when this cropped up, so we ended up barking a bit at each other. We’d like to resolve this bone of contention by appealing to you, whom we both respect and trust. Whatever you say, we’ll abide by.

Q. It seems that all types of dashes are treated without spaces in Chicago. Is the use of a hyphen with spaces ever acceptable (word - word)?

Q. I understand that adjectives modified by adverbs ending in -ly are always open. But what about instances such as “provide developmentally appropriate information”? My instinct is not to hyphenate, but I don’t think developmentally is an adverb here, so I’m not sure if the always-open rule applies.