Ampersand

Use the ampersand (&) when it is part of a company’s official name or part of the title of an article (e.g., Standard & Poor’s; John Jones, “Mission: Goals & Objectives”) but otherwise, do not use it in board lists or author job titles (e.g., Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO).

Ordinarily, the ampersand would not be used in text material at all. If you need to use it in a table or figure to avoid space problems, make sure you use it consistently within the table or figure.

Slash (or Solidus)

See CMS 6.103–6.110 for a discussion of the slash. Use slashes for ratios and other numerical relationships, for some abbreviations, and to indicate that a person or thing has two functions.

Examples: P/E, 50/50, 60/40 asset mix, c/o, broker/dealer, and/or

The correct use of the acronym “P/E” is without the word “ratio,” which is implied by the use of the slash. To avoid over-hyphenation, you might use “the ratio of price to earnings” or “price/earnings” (without “ratio”) rather than “price-to-earnings ratio.” Handle similar phrases similarly; for example, use “the ratio of price to book value (P/BV),” after which you may use “P/BV” without the word “ratio.”

Quotation Marks

See CMS 6.111 for general guidance, which includes references to other CMS sections on quotation mark usage.

In British English material, we use the US style of double quotation marks, as per the Economist Style Guide.

Use quotation marks only if a question or statement is, in fact, a real quote or a hypothetical quote:

Example: Kennedy said, “Ask not . . .”

Example: The portfolio manager might ask, “How far do you want to go with this approach?”

Do not use quotation marks for rhetorical questions:

Example: If someone walks away from the deal, the issue is why. What happened?

Example: We see the markets moving wildly. What’s the cause?

Hyphen

For rules concerning the use of hyphens, see CMS 6.75–6.77 and especially CMS 7.77–7.85. See also the CMS hyphenation table, publicly available via PDF. Some general rules of thumb follow.

In nouns

Check the American Heritage Dictionary, which can be useful for noun forms that are evolving into being hyphenated or being written as one word in common practice.

In adjectives

In general, omit hyphens from compound adjectives unless the absence of the hyphen will cause confusion. For example, most readers are not likely to be confused by the lack of hyphenation in “money management strategy.” Do hyphenate something like “moving-average method,” which might otherwise be interpreted as “an average method that causes great emotion.”

We hyphenate comparative and superlative forms of compound adjectives when the simple form is hyphenated and/or when the absence of the hyphen could be confusing.

Examples: “well-qualified manager,” so “better-qualified manager” and “best-qualified manager”

Avoid, wherever possible, more than one hyphenated adjective in a row. Perhaps some of that description can be switched to the other side of the noun, where it won’t need to be hyphenated, even if the sentence becomes wordier.

Example: a “long-billed, cotton-pickin’, New Zealand–born kiwi bird” rephrased to have only one hyphen is a “long-billed kiwi bird from New Zealand that picks cotton”

En Dash

We follow CMS guidance on the usage of en dashes. See CMS 6.78–6.81 for rules regarding the use of en dashes.

Use an en dash with most ranges of dates, pages, money amounts, and so forth; see the sections Currency, Numbers, and Equations (particularly, spelling out vs. using numerals).

Examples: 1998–1999; July 2005–June 2007; $325–$999

Use an en dash to indicate joint research or development.

Examples: Black–Scholes model; the Berry–Dreman research

Use an en dash for acts of Congress.

Examples: Taft–Hartley Act; Glass–Steagall Act

Em Dash

We follow CMS guidance on the usage of em dashes. See CMS 6.82–6.89 for rules regarding the use of em dashes.

On the Web

Treat an em dash as a word, with a space on either side.  Select the em dash from the symbols palette, or in Windows, use the Alt code on your numbers keypad on your keyboard (ensure that the “Num Lock” key is released): ALT + 0151.

Comma

See CMS 6.16–6.53 for rules concerning the comma. We adhere to CMS rules regarding comma usage, and use the serial (or Oxford) comma in all text.

See CMS 9.55 for usage of comma in numbers of a thousand and above, including index amounts—except in page numbers, years, and formal index titles.

Examples: The DJIA reached 4,000 long before 2002. The Wilshire 2000 includes more small companies than the S&P 500. The answer is found on page 1023.

If a word or phrase that would normally be set off by commas immediately follows a comma separating a compound sentence, use only the final comma.

Example: Liz went to town, and unless I am mistaken, she stayed all night.

(Not . . . “and, unless I am mistaken,” . . .)

Commas should be used to set off “Sr.” and “Jr.” (but not III as in Robert H. Smith III).

Example: Fred H. Speece, Jr., served as chair of the Board of Governors. Daniel J. Forrestal III also served as chair of the Board of Governors.