Can anybody help with a B&B?

edited November 2012 in - Writing Problems
I don't want to stay in one; I have two characters in my current story staying in a B&B and I'm not sure how to refer to it.

Is it:

- Bed and breakfast
- Bed-and-breakfast
- Bed & breakfast

I originally thought it would be the first version, but the sentence: "We arrived at the bed and breakfast at six" - just doesn't look right.

Any ideas? I could take the coward's way out and call it a guest house, but I'm keen to know if there is a 'correct' form!

Comments

  • What's wrong with B&B ?
  • My character's kind of stuffy. He wouldn't call it a B&B, or a B 'n' B, if he were talking, so I didn't want to put it in the text.
  • Would a stuffy character stay in a B & B?
  • Not by choice.
  • If he's stuffy, would he say 'guest house'? He might do. He would say 'guest house', she would say 'B&B' and he would see it as grounds for divorce?

    I've no idea tbh. I think there are style guides that advise on this kind of thing.
  • I looked in the dictionary and it's your first option.
    The one with the hyphens is actually a stock exchange term for selling shares and buying them back the next day!
  • Hmm... a Google search doesn't help a lot. It looks like most places describe themselves as bed and breakfasts, with a sizeable minority going for bed & breakfast. I didn't see any bed-and-breakfasts within the first few results pages, so I guess that option can be ruled out.

    I think I might go for bed & breakfast - it's rare to get an excuse to use an ampersand in a story :-)
  • Ah - thanks, Viv. I should have checked a dictionary!

    *slaps forehead*
  • I agree with pbw - a stuffy person would say "guest house" .
    I've always said "B and B" but then I'm not posh!
  • Surely if the name is shortened to its initials of B & B (as it invariably is), when you're using the full description it should be written as Bed and Breakfast with both main words beginning with a capital letter. Sorry, but that's a fourth option to stew over, DF.
  • Google a B&B website and see what they call themselves
  • Wouldn't someone stuffy stay in a hotel?
  • I wouldn't use an ampersand in speech - if he says bed and breakfast it needs to be written bed and breakfast, even if he's narrating rather than speaking in speech marks.
  • edited November 2012
    [quote=Island Girl]Surely if the name is shortened to its initials of B & B (as it invariably is), when you're using the full description it should be written as Bed and Breakfast with both main words beginning with a capital letter.[/quote]
    I don't think that's right, IG - you wouldn't call a hotel a Hotel. If you were referring to it by name, i.e. Park View Bed & Breakfast, that would be right, but I don't think you'd capitalise the generic description like that.

    [quote=Betsie]Google a B&B website and see what they call themselves[/quote]
    I tried that initially; it's partly what led to my confusion!

    [quote=Stan2]Wouldn't someone stuffy stay in a hotel?[/quote]
    He'd much rather be in a hotel.

    [quote=Lou Treleaven]I wouldn't use an ampersand in speech - if he says bed and breakfast it needs to be written bed and breakfast, even if he's narrating rather than speaking in speech marks.[/quote]
    I'm going to do it that way. It doesn't look quite right, and I like the way the ampersand 'binds' the two words together, but I'm sure that's the correct way to do it, grammatically speaking.
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