Subscribe to The Chicago Manual of Style Online
Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes
Q. My reputable dictionaries give “transpacific” and “transatlantic” but not “transindian.” On its own, “his transindian voyage” would probably be ambiguous, but if I were to write “his transpacific, transatlantic, and transindian voyages were remarkable feats,” there would appear to be little risk of ambiguity. Would you consider that acceptable? If not, how should I express such a thing?
A. Yes, Chicago editors might opt for what we call “regional consistency” here by styling all three compounds in the same way rather than hyphenate “trans-Indian.” Or we might hyphenate all three, if we thought there would be any confusion about the unfamiliar “transindian.”