Hyphens are probably one of an editor’s most notorious nemeses. It can be straight-up confusing to use them. (Fun fact: I once knew an editor who was a complete stickler for proper hyphen usage. It was her editorial nitpick.)
If editors don’t know how and when to use hyphens half the time, what chance do the rest of us have? It turns out that hyphenation, as convoluted and confusing as it can be, does have a few straight-forward rules you can follow.
One of the things I’ve heard is that using gerunds is indicative of poor writing. Writers, it’s argued, should avoid using this verb form. So, I decided to test this out. Let’s look at a passage from Bad Spirits.