Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rare Reappearance of the 43-year-old Grammar Nazi

To the ladies writing at Galleycat.com:

Stop hyphenating people’s ages incorrectly. Now.

It’s a chronic problem at Galleycat, viz:

“Writer Zilpha Keatley Snyder has died. She was 87-years-old.

No, no, and no.

It’s correct to say “87-year-old Zilpha Keatley Snyder has died.” In this case, Ms. Snyder’s age is a modifier to the noun – Ms. Snyder – so per Grammar Girl, it’s correct to hyphenate it.

But when the age is part of an adjective phrase that follows the noun, DO NOT HYPHENATE.

For corroboration, look at what the folks at grammar.net say (pay attention to Nos. 2 and 6).

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