Ah, the ol’ hyphen-after-an-adverb-ending-in-LY trick. Every once in a while (or as Yahoo! staffers would write “every once and a while“), it shows up on the Yahoo! front page:
The rule is: Don’t put a hyphen between an adverb ending in LY and the word it modifies.
It took a while, but I finally did manage to stop reflexively and automatically adding the hyphen after those “-ly” words! If anything, I seem to have gone overboard and begun leaving it out of pairs that should be linked!
I know what you mean. I had to be told to stop already with the hyphen. I don’t think omitting a hyphen in a compound modifier is always an error, as long as the meaning is clear.
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