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Hyphenation
Posted: 19 September 2013 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve always been unsure about this and read in today’s Guardian from an article about the Lib Dem conference (Lib Dem unhyphenated, note):

A guy coming out of the auditorium behind me sums up the debate as “good humoured, well mannered and ill-informed”.

What is going on with the hyphens here? Is ‘ill’ always hyphenated - ill-spoken, ill-mannered, etc., but not ‘well informed/mannered’? Is the journalist following Guardian style rules or is a sub-editor (also subeditor) responsible?

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Posted: 19 September 2013 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well informed is sometimes hyphenated.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I would not hyphenate it, at least not if the adjectival phrase follows the noun as it does in this case. Chicago agrees with me. (Or vice versa is probably more accurate.) In any case, you should hyphenate all or none of them.

But it may be a Guardian style thing. In which case, it’s their paper and they get to choose what goes in it.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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No style guide would produce that result.  It’s the Grauniad; why do you think they call it that?

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Posted: 20 September 2013 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Clarity trumps any rules of hyphenating even in the Guardian.
“Illiluminate” is best hyphenated if you wish your words to illuminate.

Don’tcha think?

[ Edited: 20 September 2013 07:08 AM by milum ]
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Posted: 20 September 2013 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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“Illiluminate” is best hyphenated if you wish your words to illuminate.

Ill-illuminate isn’t a word I’d use, because of the distracting repetition of -ill.  I’d probably say “badly illuminated” - no hyphen necessary - but I take your point that if you’re determined to say it, ill-illuminate should be hyphenated for clarity.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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No style guide would produce that result.

A style guide might very well contain the contradictory advice to not hyphenate compound adjectives that follow the noun, but that ill-informed should be hyphenated in all cases. I’ve seen a lot of ill-considered house style guides that contain all sorts of quirks. I think you mean “no well-written style guide would produce that result.”

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Posted: 21 September 2013 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I think you mean “no well-written style guide would produce that result.”

You are, of course, correct, and I have no idea why I assumed that the Guardian‘s style guide was any good.  Look at the results, after all!

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Posted: 28 September 2013 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Style guides seem a bit like religions ie I don’t know which one to follow, and followers tend to ignore stuff they don’t agree with anyway. This isn’t a help. Should it be “good-humoured, well-mannered and ill-informed”? That is what I would have written.

Ironically. a Grauniad sub recently explained his thankless trade here.

It’s known as the Grauniad because of its typos in typesetting, hot-print days, nothing to do with style. I think mean-spirited Private Eye started referring to it as that in the 1960s.

[ Edited: 28 September 2013 11:19 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 29 September 2013 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Style guides seem a bit like religions ie I don’t know which one to follow, and followers tend to ignore stuff they don’t agree with anyway.

Follow whichever you like; it doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent.  The latter part of your statement is just plain wrong: any editor/proofreader who ignored stuff they didn’t agree with wouldn’t last long in their profession.  Style guides are, of course, primarily for the use of the professionals who need them; anyone else is welcome to use or not use them however they like.  In this case, it doesn’t matter whether you include or omit the hyphens as long as you do it consistently (after both “well” and “ill").

It’s known as the Grauniad because of its typos in typesetting, hot-print days, nothing to do with style. I think mean-spirited Private Eye started referring to it as that in the 1960s.

I am perfectly well aware of why it’s known as the Grauniad.  Tossing in hyphens at random is precisely the same sort of thing as switching letters around at random.

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Posted: 01 October 2013 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Obviously, by “followers” I meant non-journos who cite style guides as authorities as with Dave’s mention of Chicago. I believe you are an independent book editor, LH, so your consistent say goes unquestioned because authors and their publishers put themselves in your experienced hands. (Have you ever been involved in disputes with either - any examples? I’m genuinely interested.) I can see this working with non-fiction books but do you just acquiesce to house rules when you submit an article to a magazine or newspaper? It must be galling considering your strong views on style and grammar. The process must be entirely different with a fiction editor.

Private Eye has also long referred to the Daily Telegraph as the Torygraph and the defunct News of the World as the News of the Screws because of its reporting of sex scandals. No one knows if papers other than the Grauniad had as many typos but they’ve pretty much disappeared everywhere since they all moved to Wapping and adopted computers in the 1980s. Private Eye‘s pet names and format never change. Their unchanged-for-decades column Street of Shame still references Fleet Street. It’s run and written by Oxbridge graduates and according to Barry Humphries its offices resemble an Eton prefects’ common room. There’s some good stuff but only of any possible interest to Brits.

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Posted: 01 October 2013 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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My limited experience with submitting articles to academic journals is that the editors are only picky about true stylistic issues, e.g., how you format citations. I haven’t seen a single “grammar” issue on any style sheet.

I have gotten a few comments on forms that are only now coming into acceptability by peer reviewers who like to see a stodgy style in their academic writing, and I made the changes they suggested. But I haven’t seen anyone pushing any of the true zombie rules.

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Posted: 02 October 2013 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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From the Grauniad’s on-line style manual on hyphens:

There is no need to use hyphens with most compound adjectives, where the meaning is clear and unambiguous without: civil rights movement, financial services sector, work inspection powers, etc. Hyphens should, however, be used to form short compound adjectives, eg two-tonne vessel, three-year deal, 19th-century artist. Also use hyphens where not using one would be ambiguous, eg to distinguish “black-cab drivers come under attack” from “black cab-drivers come under attack”. A missing hyphen in a review of Chekhov’s Three Sisters led us to refer to “the servant abusing Natasha”, rather than “the servant-abusing Natasha”.

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Posted: 02 October 2013 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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That’s just a recipe for confusion to me. Advice like this is what garners them the name Grauniad.

I can see “civil rights movement” and “financial services sector,” but my American eyes stop and puzzle over “work inspection powers.” I can figure it out, but it needs a hyphen for fast recognition. (Is “work inspection” a standard phrase in British English, akin to “civil rights”?) Also, why “two-tonne” and “19th-century”? These are clear and unambiguous without the hyphen. The rule is just begging for inconsistent usage.

(Also, the lack of periods in eg really bugs me. It’s their style, so they’re consistent, but I’m going to fly my peeve flag on this one.)

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Posted: 02 October 2013 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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authors and their publishers put themselves in your experienced hands. (Have you ever been involved in disputes with either - any examples? I’m genuinely interested.)

No, because I’m not one of those demon copyeditors about whom people rightly complain—I’m perfectly happy to let authors and publishers have it their way if they insist on it.  I register my point of view, but they’re the final authorities.

The process must be entirely different with a fiction editor.

Indeed, and I’ve never edited fiction, so I don’t know much about it.

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Posted: 02 October 2013 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Edit:

OK.  I thought I had posted this before but couldn’t find it last night.

[ Edited: 03 October 2013 03:17 AM by Faldage ]
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