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How do you list multiple modifiers to a compound adjective?

 
 
alekona
 
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 01:21 pm
The adjective I want to modify is "saving". But I want to modify it in 3 different ways. Basically the meaning I want to get out of the sentence is this:

"We are migrating all our training programs to this paper-saving, time-saving, and resource-saving option. "

I want to shortcut it so it's more like this:

"We are migrating all our training programs to this paper, time, and resource-saving option. "

Do I hypen just the last word to saving like the above? Do I not hypen at all? Or do I do something weird like the below?

"We are migrating all our training programs to this paper-, time-, and resource-saving option. "

I remember seeing an answer to this question in the past but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to query it on Google. Please help.
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contrex
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Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 01:53 pm
@alekona,
Quote:
do I do something weird like the below?

"We are migrating all our training programs to this paper-, time-, and resource-saving option. "


That's not "weird". That's right.

Form a list where the final item contains the final modifier, a hyphen, and the adjective, preceded by modifiers plus a hyphen, using commas and conjunctions as necessary, as for any other list.

The third- and fourth-grade teachers
Full- and part-time employees
Three-, four- and five-year-old children
This paper-, time- and resource-saving option

NOTE: In the above examples, I have made the last two lists use the "Cambridge comma", that is no comma before the co-ordinating conjunction ("and"). This is the style more commonly used in British English, my native variety. In US English, a majority of style guides mandate the use of the "serial", "Oxford" or "Harvard" comma as here:

One-, two-, three-, and four-ton loads.

As for Google, a judicious query involving words like compound, hyphen, comma, etc should find you something including this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_compound



alekona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 02:08 pm
@contrex,
That was actually what I thought would be the right way but then I second-guessed myself. Thanks so much, it really does make sense. My coworkers will probably challenge it and tell me that it looks "weird" or "wrong" like they often do but now I have backup Smile

I always seem to be bad at finding things on Google, haha. I tried so many different things. I even tried searching "-," as a last-ditch attempt to find something that used it. Ah, should have just searched "compound"! I kept including "compound adjective" or "hyphenated adjective" in my searches and the articles never got to talking about using them in lists.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jun, 2013 02:53 pm
@alekona,
alekona wrote:
Ah, should have just searched "compound"! I kept including "compound adjective" or "hyphenated adjective" in my searches and the articles never got to talking about using them in lists.


http://www.google.com/search?q=compound+hyphen+modifier
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