Is “pre-Industrial-Revolution” spelled and hypenated correctly?

I found this quote online:

The hackish senses of "engine" are actually close to its original, pre-Industrial-Revolution sense of a skill, clever device, or instrument (the word is cognate to "ingenuity").

definition of engine on FOLDOC

Is "pre-Industrial-Revolution" capitalized, and are the hypens in the correct place?


Depending on the style guide in use, either pre-Industrial-Revolution or pre-Industrial Revolution could be acceptable, but the latter form is surely more common.

Industrial Revolution is a proper noun as it refers to a specific historical epoch (~1760-1840 in Britain, different years elsewhere), and both words are always capitalized.

One use of hyphens (and en dashes) is to join related words to remove ambiguity. For example, a little-used car lot would be a car park that is usually empty, whereas a little used-car lot could be a small lot on which used cars are sold, and a little-used-car lot is perhaps someplace to find pre-owned Peel P-50s.

Hyphens are also used when creating a compound word with a prefix or suffix unless the unhyphenated form has been accepted into the language: company-wide but nationwide, post-capitalist but postgraduate. (Many words evolve from hyphenated to conjoined forms; thus you may read of a preeminent supervillain’s anteroom in one place and a pre-eminent super-villain’s ante-room in another.)

So, if there is a danger that the reader would parse pre-Industrial Revolution as [pre-Industrial]+[Revolution] instead of [pre-]+[Industrial Revolution], I could see an argument for keeping both hyphens. But Industrial Revolution is a set phrase, and I think there is little chance of confusion. Chicago avers that the second hyphen is unnecessary (but says to use an en dash, as with pre–Vietnam War). APA avers on the other hand that each word in a compound should be hyphenated. Neither the MLA nor the Economist seem to address this specific case.

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Source : Link , Question Author : Cornflex , Answer Author : choster

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