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Old 08-28-2007, 11:59 AM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Default Advice, please

What is held to be the correct format of terms joined together by a hyphen in title form. Is it Silicone-Coated (an actual example) or Silicone-coated?

I've never known, and I've never seen the problem mentioned in print.

   
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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What is held to be the correct format of terms joined together by a hyphen in title form. Is it Silicone-Coated (an actual example) or Silicone-coated?

I've never known, and I've never seen the problem mentioned in print.
I have seen a rule not to hyphenate capitalized words, but generally, I think this would be a matter of house style.

   
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
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Is it Silicone-Coated (an actual example) or Silicone-coated?
It may, as KT said, be a house style (and I don't have a reference book here to check), but I learned that in compound adjectives, the second word is NOT capitalized. I would write "Try Our Silicone-coated Widget" in a title.

   
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:12 PM   #4
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The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) discusses this in 8.168 (Hyphenated compounds in titles) and 8.169-8.170. There is a simple rule and a more complex one. Chicago prefers the latter.

The simple rule says to capitalize only the first element unless any subsequent elements are proper nouns or proper adjectives. Example:
Death-defying Feats by Nineteenth-century Tightrope Walkers
In your case, that would give:
Silicone-coated
The more traditional rule says to also capitalize subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, etc. There are more exceptions listed for this rule but they don't apply in your case. Example:
Record-Breaking Borrowings from Medium-Sized Libraries
In your case, that would give:
Silicone-Coated
BTW, the last part of this rule says to break it when it doesn't work <g>.

But, as Kathleen said, many publishers have their own house styles regarding this.
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:27 PM   #5
Michael Rowley
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KT:

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I have seen a rule not to hyphenate capitalized words
That's one way out of the problem! But you don't (or rather I don't) insert hyphens or omit them for the fun of it, and certainly not to suit house style.

In my case, I have to write, 'Silicone-coated release papers'; so if I'm making that part of the title, you suggest that it should be Silicone Coated there and silicone-coated in the text, do you? I am inclined to keep the word 'coated' uncapitalized, but it does look unbalanced.

   
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:33 PM   #6
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Don:

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I would write "Try Our Silicone-coated Widget" in a title
So would I, if it didn't look unbalanced. Perhaps I should write, 'Release Paper Coated with Silicone'. I sometimes wish I were a Frenchman or a German!

   
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:36 PM   #7
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The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition) discusses this in 8.168 (Hyphenated compounds in titles)
Thanks for the tip: I hadn't thought of looking there!

   
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