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Which is correct for business card and letterhead:

Toll Free: (800) 000-0000

Toll-Free: (800) 000-000

Toll free: (800) 000-0000

Toll-free: (800) 000-0000

  • I jumped the gun and flagged this as spam. I now realize that it's not spam. However I still believe it should be closed as Off Topic and/or Primarily Opinion based. – Jim Dec 7 '15 at 17:33
  • I think Toll[-] in such constructions is starting to sound really "quaint" these days. In the modern style it's just call free [on 0800...]. But it's a bit insulting to potential clients (or whoever you give the cards to) to suppose that they don't already know that all 0800 number are free (even from mobiles now) – FumbleFingers Dec 7 '15 at 17:44
  • Maybe closed as a duplicate of the question about hyphenating words? – Kit Z. Fox Dec 7 '15 at 18:29
2

toll-free or toll free?

  • The rules for hyphen according to the APA style state the following
    Compound adjective: hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea.
    e.g: Toll-free number
    When not used as an adjective, there is no need to hyphenate
    e.g: The number is toll free
    Here, is the link to the source http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/when-use-hyphen.aspx
  • The Chicago Manual of Style, however, states that Compounds formed with free as second element are hyphenated both before and after a noun. The link to the source is http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/images/ch07_tab01.pdf
    So, according to the CMOS,hyphen would be used in both cases
    i.e. Toll-free number
    The number is Toll-free

Whether to use Toll-free or Toll-Free?

  • Usually, the second word is capitalized if the word is a noun, adjective, or is equally important as the first word. e.g: Two-thirds and Mid-September
    This again comes from APA style, which mentions the following

Capitalize all “major” words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns) in the title/heading, including the second part of hyphenated major words (e.g., Self-Report not Self-report)

  • The CMOS(Section 7.128) recommends the following

"subsequent elements are capitalized unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, or such modifiers as flat, sharp and natural following musical key symbols; second elements attached by hyphens to prefixes are not capitalized unless they are proper nouns or proper adjectives. If a compound (other than one with a hyphenated prefix) comes at the end of the title, its final element, whatever part of speech it may be, is always capitalized.”

In both the cases, Toll-free is the accepted usage when used with a noun. For business cards and letter heads Toll-free: (800) is more appropriate

| improve this answer | |
  • @choster I have edited the answer based on your comment. Please have a look – Minion4 Dec 8 '15 at 7:51
  • I appreciate you have answered the comment and supplied references. However the answer is now extremely difficult to read and work out what goes with what. Don't bother with "Edit" -- the edit history is available anyway -- just organise all the information as logically as possible. – Andrew Leach Dec 8 '15 at 7:54
  • @AndrewLeach I have formatted the answer based on your inputs. – Minion4 Dec 8 '15 at 8:35
  • Looks good to me. +1 – choster Dec 8 '15 at 15:00

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