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May I do this? If I can avoid hyphens, I will -- at all costs. Without a suggested recast, may I place compound adjectives in single quote marks in lieu of hyphenating them?

My apologies for the lengthy list, but I want to ensure that I understand the principle. Thank you so very much for all your help!!!

THIS: On Friday, Huck Finn's will be having its 'going out of business' sale.
THIS: On Friday, Huck Finn's will be having its 'Going Out of Business' sale. Can I cap 'em, too?
INSTEAD OF: On Friday, Huck Finn's will be having its going-out-of-business sale.

THIS: She displays a 'can do' attitude.
INSTEAD OF: She displays a can-do attitude.

THIS: She was an 'at home' mom.
INSTEAD OF: She was an at-home mom.

THIS: She found $100 in 'out of code' product in the dairy section of the supermarket.
INSTEAD OF: She found $100 in out-of-code product in the dairy section of the supermarket.

THIS: He maintained this 'holier than thou' attitude.
INSTEAD OF: He maintained this holier-than-thou attitude.

THIS: It will happen in the 'not so distant' future.
INSTEAD OF: It will happen in the not-so-distant future.

THIS: I'm tired of his 'what DVD should we rent' questions.
INSTEAD OF: I'm tired of his what-DVD-should-we-rent questions.

THIS: He had that 'deer stuck in the headlight' look on his face.
INSTEAD OF: He had that deer-stuck-in-the- headlight look on his face.

THIS: It was a 'never to be forgotten' experience.
INSTEAD OF: It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

THIS: What are your personal 'word choice' preferences?
INSTEAD OF: What are your personal word-choice preferences?

I believe that these are all viable options -- do you agree with all?
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You can possibly do this with a really long phrase. The "going out of business" could work. I'd say the "deer stuck in the headlights" does work that way.

Otherwise, use the quotes only when the phrase is being used in a new or novel or not-yet-well-known way. I may not know what "out of code" means so that one could probably use the quotes.

Several of the shorter look absurd to me in quotes.

She's a stay-at-home mom. If you use "stay at home" I would think you were trying to be ironic, perhaps emphasizing how little time a mom with a bunch of kids active in sports, music, etc. is actually at home.

If you used "holier than thou" I may think you are again trying to be funny -- perhaps the man is an ordained minster and he *IS* holier than me.

Likewise if you quote "not so distant" future, I think you're again trying to ironic, implying it will be years.

Hyphens are not the plague. Why you think they should be avoided at all costs?
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Hyphens are not the plague. Why you think they should be avoided at all costs?
Perhaps because I told him in response to this same post or a very similar one that all that silly hyphenation is a poor substitute for good sentence structure (or something to that effect). Do you think I was over-re-acting?
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Comments  
If those were the exact sentences, then in some cases, yes, but in others, no.

A can-do attitude is trite, but not poor structure. A stay-at-home mom is a very common expression. On the other hand, a "deer-stuck-in-the-headlights look" should probably be rewritten.
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