No one, aside from weirdos, wants to read some boring post about grammar and punctuation. I’m not an English teacher, and I’m not in the business of excerpting textbooks. So let us keep this post on hyphens to one point. Ready?
This is a hyphen: –
This is an adverb: quickly
This is the aforementioned point of this post: When modifying a noun with an adverb, omit the hyphen. The “ly” replaces it.
I know; writers hate adverbs and want them to suffer. But those poor, maligned parts of speech are in charge when nouns must be modified, no matter how beautiful the hyphen that comes traipsing along. See the action-packed example that appears after this paragraph break.
Wrong: The quickly-flowing lava raced down the volcano’s slope, enveloping the ancient monster, Rodan, before the beast could fly away.
Right: The quickly flowing lava raced down the volcano’s slope, enveloping the ancient monster, Rodan, before the beast could fly away.
When modifying a noun without an adverb, use a hyphen.
Right: The flesh-eating monster, Rodan, is impervious to all things. Except lava.
That is all for today. Other than, “Beware of Rodan.”
Little known fact: John Lennon was singing about punctuation abuse in this song. 100% of the proceeds from this YouTube video go toward improving the quality of life for hyphens. If I were the Beatles, though, I’d probably set aside $40 to buy a microphone stand so Paul and George don’t have to share.