I'm looking for authority on hyphenating the following phrase with a compound modifier. Which is correct?

She was a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, or She was a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, or She was a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter

The Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed. at sections 5.92 and 5.93 covers some of this topic, but doesn't seem conclusive on this particular case.

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    What does the free, comprehensive CMOS pdf on hyphen usage say? – AmE speaker May 3 '18 at 4:30
  • Also check 6.80 of the CMOS proper. – AmE speaker May 3 '18 at 4:36
  • Please include the research you’ve done. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic – Edwin Ashworth May 3 '18 at 21:09
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    I don't have Chicago 17, but Chicago12 through 16 consistently assert that a proper name consisting of two or more words should not be hyphenated internally. Instead, all of those editions advocate using an en dash (not a hyphen) to attach the following word of the compound modifier to the proper name. So in your example, the Chicago-approved form would be Pulitzer Prize–winning (not Pulitzer Prize-winning or Pulitzer-Prize-winning). – Sven Yargs May 4 '18 at 6:52
  • Thanks Sven. Yes, I see that now at CMOS 17 Section 6.80: "The en dash can be used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements consists of an open compound or when both elements consist of hyphenated compounds.Whereas a hyphen joins exactly two words, the en dash is intended to signal a link across two. Because this editorial nicety will go unnoticed by the majority of readers it should be used sparingly, when a more elegant solution is unavailable." It's a rule, I guess, but it seems rather arbitrary and unsatisfactory. Thanks for the tip. Also in CMOS 15 at 6.85. – jdscomms May 4 '18 at 13:40

The usual way of doing this is with an en dash, which can be used like a hyphen to join terms when they comprise multiple words (or, less commonly, an already hyphenated term):

  • Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter

  • pre–Civil War era

  • ex–vice president

  • non–drug-naïve patients

That Wikipedia article quotes the Chicago Manual of Style:

Use it in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of the elements of the adjective is an open compound, or when two or more of its elements are compounds, open or hyphenated.

  • Thanks, Jon, that's interesting. It seems a bit fussy, though, expecting readers to see and absorb the difference between a hyphen and an en dash. – jdscomms May 2 '18 at 23:25
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    @jdscomms: You can just use a hyphen if you prefer; I think it’s perfectly understandable. I use the en dash just because I like how it provides some visual separation to encourage the reader to treat the compound as having higher “precedence” than the dash, i.e., “(Pulitzer Prize)-winning”, not “Pulitzer (Prize-winning)”, but it’s rarely ambiguous to just use a hyphen—or, honestly, even no hyphen at all. – Jon Purdy May 2 '18 at 23:37
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    Solid answer and I upvote! Proof of the pudding: google.com/search?q=%22pulitzer+prize+winning%22&ie= see how almost all sources have written Pulitzer Prize-winning as in your second option @jdscomms. Definitive proof comes from Ngrams: books.google.com/ngrams/… – English Student May 3 '18 at 0:42
  • wikiPedia is quoting the 15th edition of the CMOS. That is two editions behind. Which is why wikipedia is not an authorative source. – AmE speaker May 3 '18 at 4:33
  • @user9825893y50932: Fair enough, but this is fairly standard and nearly general-reference—Wikipedia was just the easiest thing to link to. There are loads of citations just searching for “en dash”: The Punctuation Guide, Grammarly, Daily Writing Tips, CMOS §6.80 (which I didn’t link partly because it’s paywalled), and several questions & answers already on ELU. – Jon Purdy May 3 '18 at 6:03

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