Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

by Joshua Gaskell

I think the proposed EU referendum ought to compel newspaper sub-editors and style-guidees to dust off that long-neglected en rule (–), which is ‘used like a solidus to express an alternative’ (New Hart’s Rules): we’re to have an in–out, not an in-out referendum. The en rule denotes the fact that Britain will either be in the EU or she will be out of it – one or the other, not both – whereas in-out hyphenated suggests that the reality will be more along the lines of shake it all about.

… On second thoughts, let the hyphen stand.