Size or sized? Find out which one you should use.
Last week in the sponsor message, you heard me talk about a “king-size” mattress from Casper, and that reminded me that a listener named Louie had asked me whether he should write about small and mid-size businesses or small and mid-sized businesses.
The short answer is that the better choice is size, not sized—king-size and mid-size—although some dictionaries list king-sized and mid-sized as alternatives.
Should You Hyphenate ‘King-Size’ and “Mid-Size’?
As is often the case with hyphens, the answer isn’t as clear—king-size usually appears hyphenated, but mid-size is routinely seen with and without a hyphen, and some dictionaries show it hyphenated and others don’t. Hyphenate king-size, and just decide which way you like to write mid-size, put it in your style guide, and be consistent.
Advertising Helped Establish Words Such as ‘King-Size’ and ‘Mid-Size’
Mad Men fans will likely be as surprised and intrigued as I was to discover that, although the Oxford English Dictionary has one example of king-size from the early 1800s, it looks as if the term really only took hold once it appeared in Regent cigarette ads in the early 1940s. King-size Regent cigarettes fixed the term king-size in our modern vocabulary. Mattress makers expanded the regal universe to include queen-size in the late 1950s. Ads for mid-size cars may have also helped establish that term in American English, although mid-size did occasionally appear earlier in other contexts.