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I checked the NYT, and they seem to go back and forth on this.

I like the apostrophe myself.

See below my sentence:

I’d say that most linguists—even those who work within the mentalist Chomskyan tradition—understand MP to have abandoned the learnability/acquisition concerns that drove much of the research from the mid-’70s to the mid-’90s.

But see here:

The movie opens with onscreen texts referring to “a journalist’s” archive on interviews about Capote and rumors of an “unfinished scandalous manuscript.” The journalist turns out to be George Plimpton, who published an oral history on Capote in 1997, over a decade after Capote’s 1984 death at age 59. The manuscript would be “Answered Prayers,” excerpts from which caused much disaffection among Capote’s high-society associates when they ran in Esquire magazine in the mid-70s.

Original Post

Hi, Andrew—Do you aspire to follow a specific code of style conventions, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago? If so, you should consult the respective style manual.

If not, either orthographical form is fine, as you have already discovered. I myself dislike the apostrophe there; however, if you like it, I can respect that.

If you want to avoid the issue, you can simply write "mid-nineteen-seventies," as the New Yorker does. I consider it the best-punctuated magazine in the U.S.

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