Hello grammarians out there.
I have a question about compound hyphation.
What is the correct way to hyphenate this:
a) community-owned and -operated
b) community-owned and operated
c) forget trying to shorten and go with community-owned and community-operated
d) other, please explain_________________________________
It was probably somewhere in the Chicago Manual of Style Iooked at, too.
Will check my AP style guide as well -- as soon as I can locate it in the house.
My druthers would be to drop the hyphen in front of operated. I think it's patently clear.
No ambiguity. And the extra hyphen slows down the reading.
But it's gotta be correct.
Thanks for your help!
I'm not saying the ways I might handle that are correct (in fact, they're probably not, I'm guessing). Whether or not I'd go by either style manual, though, might depend on whether going by one of those style manuals is required/recommended for the particular piece/place of writing.
Style manuals exist for consistency in a field. They don't always have guidelines that involve "traditional" grammar rules. They just have the consistent guidelines for each field (like journalism, engineering, law, social work, etc. etc.).
On this particular site, or in a book or a letter or something else I might be writing where using a style manual isn't required I go with what seems right to/for me (and then I call it "artistic license" in my own mind, and figure that anyone who doesn't approve of it can - as my mother used to say - like it or lump it. ) (With some pieces/types of writing I"m not above taking liberties when I think something works/looks better.)
Anyway, when I run into something like the "community-owned..." thing I do one of the following:
"It is a community- owned and operated business." (I know the space after the hyphen may not be right, but I think it looks consistent and clear. I know, too, that this approach doesn't specifically seem to link "operated" with "community", but I think that "owned and operated" are words that are commonly used with "business", so assuming that the reader will know enough to connect the three words is kind of a matter of "It's implied" (or something like that).
Or I might go with "It is a community-owned/operated business." (This approach is the one I think I lean most toward favoring.)
Or, depending on the words and the situation, I might change the wording of the sentence and skulk out of the whole problem with....
"The community-owned-and-operated" business was up and running...." (Turning the "community-owned-and-operated" into an "out-and-out" adjective that out-and-out describes "business" offers a little more legitimacy to this particular approach, I think.
I'm definitely of the mind to go with less conventional solutions in most of my writing.
I mean, anyone who spends time on social media or reading most anything on the internet
is way beyond caring about these arcane grammar conventions.
But this is an annual report for a foundation.
Don't get me started on the "consistency rules" -- or the conventional communication approach -- in the nonprofit world.
The thing is, they are not deliberately trying to obfuscate the truth (as might be the case in, say, a piece of government writing). They're just used to speaking about populations
of people in terms of the social determinants (and usually there are at least 5 or 6) that lead to outcomes.
Simple, declarative sentences are somehow too.. simple?
As an example, I was not long ago asked to edit a piece for this foundation to
make it more readable.
I felt like a failure when I was only able to get it down to a Fleish reading ease of 10th grade.
The client was thrilled. She said, "Oh no. This is great! Our usual level is 14+ grade."
As to this particular grammar challenge, I may suggest we change to "owned and operated by the community." Not sure yet.
But thank you both for your help and support!
Can always count on Hubber Power!
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