It wasn't a bad thing. I got to use my new, blue Chicago Manual of Style. Have I told you how much I love my new CMS? No? Oh, yes, I do love it. It's so wonderfully new and improved, including the cover color. How improved is it? Check out the changes in Edition 16 by clicking here. Included is a new and improved hyphenation guide! Now tell me if you've heard of anything cooler than that in the past week.
So back to my hyphenation dilemma. I was editing a blog post which referred to a children's book written for 5 to 8 year olds. I knew that was wrong. 5 to 8-year-olds. Nope. Hmmm. 5-8-year-olds. Wow, that really didn't look correct. What does the CMS say?
It states in the section about compounds and hyphenation related to age terms, in category 7.84 Omission of part of a hyphenated expression: When the second part of a hypenated expression is omitted, the hyphen is retained, followed by a space. So the correct way to write the above is:
See the space after that first hyphen? That's the correct way to write this. Doesn't knowing that just make your day? Yes, it's true. Editors geek out on this sort of stuff and it thrills us to the core. How about you? Do you have the new Chicago Manual of Style? How often can we find you poking around in it? Go ahead, confess! You are among friends.
When not reading fascinating tomes like the Chicago Manual of Style and her favorite dictionary, Dani Greer is managing this blog, planning her next blog book tours class (which begins on September 5th and is free to authors with a new book to promote), and is special projects coordinator for Little Pickle Press.