10

I'm having difficulty putting something on my resume. I'm stuck between

"... medium-to-long term trend following strategy"

or

"... medium to long-term trend following strategy"

I've seen the latter used more frequently, but it looks really odd to me. Help would be appreciated!

  • 1
    There are also examples of medium-to-long-term trend, medium- to long-term trend and medium to long term trend. I think the compound premodifier is unitary, so I'd use medium-to-long-term trend modelling on long-term trend. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 14 '17 at 22:28
16

Many writers would use a suspended hyphen.

Medium- to long-term.

You're allowed some discretion on this matter, as reputable writers are not entirely homogenous in their hyphen usage. Between the two that you suggested, the second seems to be more defensible. Writing "medium-to-long term" is probably not achieving what you're trying to achieve with the hyphenation.

The challenge you're really facing is combining the phrases

Medium-term

and

Long-term

The logic behind the suspended hyphen is that it preserves the prefixed nature of both words (medium and long).

However, searching reputable articles on Google reveals that plenty of writers opt to omit a suspended hyphen and simply write "medium to long-term." For example, in the title of this scholarly abstract:

Medium to long-term efficacy and safety of oral tacrolimus in moderate to severe steroid refractory ulcerative colitis.

In your particular case, for a resume, I would recommend using the suspended hyphen, if only because it shows an attention to detail and an intentional writing style, but I don't want to delve into opinion too much.

  • Ah, thanks. This might seem naive but I'm worried that using a suspended hyphen might seem like a possible typo to the untrained eye. Although it looks strange to me, I might stick with 'medium to long-term trend following strategy'. Thanks for the in-depth explanation! – Nikitau Jul 14 '17 at 22:48
  • 2
    Nikitau, you've exposed the very problem. We think the "untrained eye" will see it as a typo, and so we propagate the true error. I've reviewed many articles from "scholars" who aren't English majors --- and most have trouble with the details. That's why editors exist. @RaceYouAnytime is correct, and I'm a believer in his advice. – JBH Jul 15 '17 at 4:31
  • Apparently, suspended hyphens appear extremely unusual for the English reader, compared to German, for example (where it is extremely common even - and especially - for hyphenless compounds: Hoch- und Niedrigwasser, An- und Verkauf; for these, a missing hyphen would create a word on its own that shouldn't be) – Hagen von Eitzen Jul 15 '17 at 11:37

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