Hyphen defenders (or is it hyphen-defenders?), take heart.
The Associated Press is reversing some of its March 2019 guidance on how we use of the wedding band of the punctuation world.
“Thanks to input from our users, we are reversing our decision to delete the hyphen from ‘first-quarter touchdown’ and ‘third-quarter earnings,’” AP Stylebook Editor Paula Froke told Poynter in an email. “We agree that, for instance, ‘first-half run’ should be hyphenated. So to conform, we are returning the hyphen to the ‘-quarter’ phrases.”
In a March Stylebook update, Froke said, the AP noted the difference between commonly recognized noun phrases and compound modifiers in phrases. Her example: “Chocolate chip cookie” doesn’t need a hyphen. “French-speaking people” does.
“To correct one misperception: The updates we announced in March did not call for fewer hyphens or no hyphens in compound modifiers,” Froke said.
But when AP tweeted the guidance in August, as Merrill Perlman wrote for CJR, it sparked “linguistic pandemonium.”
We updated our hyphen guidance this year to say no hyphen is needed in a compound modifier if the modifier is commonly recognized as one phrase, and if the meaning is clear and unambiguous without the hyphen.
One example is first quarter touchdown. pic.twitter.com/8AJc0zCwJm
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) August 28, 2019
Here’s just a bit of the reaction:
You’re putting us on the road to Hell
— Chris Frink (@chrisfrink) August 28, 2019
Please, I have a family.
— Gendo Thiccari (@AnotherSpammer) August 28, 2019
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2019/ap-changes-guidance-on-the-hyphen-again/