I'm working on a manuscript whose author either missed the grammar lessons on punctuation marks or (as another author previously mentioned here) writes as if he's being paid by the hyphen; or both.
You know the weird dynamic that can occur when the more you look at a certain (correct) word, the more it looks wrong? Or when a repeated error begins to look correct? Such is the case with the profusion of unnecessary hyphens in this book. By unnecessary, I mean they appear in phrases that could be compound modifiers if followed by a noun. But they stand on their own in the book—in the company of their errant hyphens—and they appear so often that I've questioned my own knowledge. Some examples: