When to hyphenate and when not to hyphenate?

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In summary, federally funded program is redundant because federally is an adverb and can only apply to the verb funded.
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DaveC426913

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I do a fair amount of amateur copy editing and often come across terms that look to me like they should be hyphenated, but what's the rule on that? (My Strunk & White is packed away.)

I just saw a TV commercial that talked about "a federally funded program". I might consider hyphenating that, but is there more to it than just personal preference?
 
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  • #2
DaveC426913 said:
I do a fair amount of amateur copy editing and often come across terms that look to me like they should be hyphenated, but what's the rule on that? (My Strunk & White is packed away.)

I just saw a TV commercial that talked about "a federally funded program". I might consider hyphenating that, but is there more to it than just personal preference?
You don't have to hyphenate in that case because federally is an adverb and, in this case, qualifies the adjective funded. It's unambiguous, therefore, that it's the funding that's federal.

If you had "federal funded program", then the program would be federal and funded. Whereas, a "federal-funded" programme is not necessarily federal but is funded federally.

PS although grammatically it would be better to take a different example. Such as "red-rimmed glasses"; as opposed to "poorly fitting glasses".
 
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  • #3
So, in an adjective-adjective-noun sequence, the hyphen indicates that adjective-1 qualifies only adjective-2, and not the noun...

"red rimmed glasses" denotes glasses that are both red and rimmed
"red-rimmed glasses" denotes glasses that are merely rimmed with red

(Though, I guess, to be pedantic, the former should be "red, rimmed glasses"?)

And you're saying "federally-funded program" is redundant because "federally" is an adverb and thus can only apply to the verb "funded".
 
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  • #4
DaveC426913 said:
And you're saying "federally-funded program" is redundant because "federally" is an adverb and thus can only apply to the verb "funded".
An adverb may describe not only a verb, but an adjective or another adverb. E.g.

Terribly hot day.

He talked very quietly.

Ps "funded" here is a verbal adjective.
 
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  • #5
One of my favourite grammatical constructions is the adjectival phrase. E.g. on that never-to-be-forgotten day".
 
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  • #6
I use Grammarly and it gave the following

never-to-be-forgotten day
federally funded program
federal funded program; although recommended changing federal to federally.
red-rimmed glasses
 
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