To D or not to D?
I published my monthly newsletter today, and it included the phrase “Olympic-size pool.” But should it have been an “Olympic-sized pool?”
A subscriber wrote and asked the -sized question. She also wondered whether to wear a striped shirt or a stripe shirt.
Her questions reminded me of my indecision about “school-aged” and “school-age” children.
So here is just about everything you need to know about to D or not to D with size, age, and stripe:
Size vs. Sized. You get to choose! Both “pint-sized pajamas” and “pint-size pajamas” are correct.
If you need a style manual to convince you, here’s The Gregg Reference Manual (Gregg):
Compound adjectives ending in sized (such as pint-sized, pocket-sized, life-sized, full-sized, giant-sized, king-sized, queen-sized, and twin-sized) are commonly written without the final d.
Gregg offers this sentence as an example:
Our community center is building an Olympic-size pool.
The Chicago Manual of Style approved of both size and sized in its online Q&A, adding a reminder to be consistent.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the adjective size as “sized,” thereby approving both. It gives the example “small-sized house.” The American Heritage College Dictionary does the same, giving “bite-size appetizers” and “medium-sized car” as illustrations.
The Associated Press Stylebook doesn’t address the size-sized question, but it gives the example “Olympic-size pool” under its entry on the Olympics.
Neither Garner’s Modern English Usage nor Microsoft Manual of Style includes a size entry.
Age vs. Aged. The adjective aged, meaning “having reached the age of,” wins in most cases. Examples:
Chicago: “Aged four years” is the equivalent of “four years of age.”
American Heritage: “Aged three” is “having reached the age of three.”
Merriam-Webster’s: “A man aged 40 years” is the example for “having attained a specified age.”
Gregg: “I interviewed a man aged 52” and “a person aged 58.”
Gregg also offers this example with age: “I don’t plan to retire at the age of 65,” asserting that “at age 65” would be incorrect. However, Gregg says that “elliptical references to age” such as “at age 65” are acceptable in technical writing such as human resources manuals.
Garner’s Modern English Usage doesn’t deal directly with the age-aged question, but Garner uses “age 71”–not “aged 71” or “at the age of 71”–as an example.
Applying my age-aged research, I will use these versions:
The play is appropriate for school-aged (not school-age) children.
Many middle-aged (not middle-age) people plan to work beyond the age of 65 (not age 65).
Actor Jeremy Irons, aged 67 (not age 67), continues to work on the stage and screen. (But I prefer “Actor Jeremy Irons, 67.”)
As for that shirt, it’s striped–not stripe! I’ve checked my dictionaries, and I can state that emphatically.
Do your style guides and style sheets agree with my research?