How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized?
- "a wireless g network"?
- "a wireless-g network"?
- "a wireless-G network"?
- "a wireless G network"?
- none of the above?
Does a formal rule even exist for this?
There's no "formal rule" for how to refer to any sort of technology other than to defer to however it was named by its creators. The standard you're referring to is officially known as 802.11g and is defined by the IEEE. Doing a search across their site, it appears that they use multiple variations, however:
So in general, I would recommend
Edit: Here's a link showing IEEE using the Wireless-G format (see near the bottom of the article for an example that's not in the title)
What matters is that some of these terms are trademarked, and so, must be written in the way the trademark holders require.
What you call a “g network” is a shortcut for an “802.11g network”. “Wireless” should not be capitalized, because it's a standard adjective in English, so the normal name would be:
because “wireless” is implied by the IEEE 802.11 standards. Now, if you want to drop the 802.11 from the name, logic would dictate to keep the g lowercase (and there's still no reason to hyphenate):
Of course, if you feel this is not very readable, you can favour readability over logic, and go for:
because the G stands out more if capitalised. I see no reason to add hyphens to that, however.
Regarding my personal preferences, I would not omit the 802.11 in writing, so I'd keep “wireless 802.11g network”. Orally, I would drop the 802.11, but then capitalisation is not a question anymore!
Thank you for your interest in this question.
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