hyphens: titles of office

  1. Hyphenate compounds with the endings elect and designate:
    • president-elect
    • minister-designate
  2. Hyphenate most titles beginning with the prefix vice:
    • vice-president
    • vice-chairman

    Exceptions: viceroy, vicereine, viceregal

  3. Hyphenate the names of certain military and administrative positions in which a noun is followed by another noun, by an adjective or by a prepositional phrase:
    • Lieutenant-Governor
    • secretary-general
    • aide-de-camp
    • Commander-in-Chief
    • sergeant-at-arms

    There are, however, many common exceptions to this rule; the following are some examples:

    • Governor General
    • Governor in Council
    • Judge Advocate General
    • Solicitor General
    • Receiver General for Canada

    Note that in Canadian usage the hyphen is used in compounds designating military ranks such as Lieutenant-General, Vice-Admiral and Rear-Admiral, whereas the American practice is to omit the hyphen. Similarly, the official title of the second-highest-ranking official of the United States is Vice President.

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