The topic of hyphens can be confusing because different styles prevail for business, news, scientific and academic writing. If your employer uses a stylebook, follow that. Otherwise, the rules I gave last week should see you through. The rules are not always hard and fast. Here are a few more situations you might encounter:
1. If omitting the hyphen could cause confusion, be sure to use it: a small-business owner (without that hyphen, the reader might think the owner is on the short side).
2. When you have a proper noun (such as a person’s name) of two or more words being used as a compound adjective, hyphenate it: a Louis CK-like situation.
3. When two or more hyphenated words modify the same noun, one hyphen can do for both: a publicly-owned and –operated corporation; a Tony- and Grammy-award-winning performance.
I hope all of you, particularly my readers on the East Coast, are safe and warm. Be careful, please.