People planning Thanksgiving menus may be wondering which gluten-free recipes to prepare for their guests on restricted diets.
But others are simply wondering about the correctness of the hyphen: Is the compound word gluten-free or gluten free? A client wrote to me today, saying, "Now my husband and I are debating over the correct use [of the hyphen]…aaagghhh! But perhaps I’m the one going crazy."
Forget the debates and the guttural sounds! Wonder no more!
The Chicago Manual of Style states:
"Compounds formed with free as second element are hyphenated both before and after a noun."
Chicago provides these examples:
the number is toll-free
the driver is accident-free
I will add to the list:
the gluten-free recipe
the recipe is gluten-free
Now that we have the answer to this hyphenation question, I can take time to practice making the rice with nuts and raisins I am preparing for Thanksgiving–in place of stuffing, which is not gluten-free. Because I am much better at grammar and punctuation than blanching and sautéing, practice is essential.
Here's a recipe for punctuation mastery: my course Punctuation for Professionals.