I was prompted by this question (difference between ecosystem and eco-system) to wonder whether word-hyphenation can ever be semantically significant.
My gut instinct is to say that since hyphenation is normally an intermediate step before a compound form becomes a single word, the answer should be "No". But if my experience here at ELU has taught me anything, it's that opinions often differ in matters of language usage.
I hate to ask something that looks like a request for a "list". A single undisputed example would do. Does the presence/absence of a hyphen ever change a compound word's meaning?
EDIT: I was specifically thinking of cases where a single "compound word" either does or doesn't have a hyphen, not where two component words may or may not be separated by a space. I understand whiteboard has a specific meaning distinct from white board - but if white-board exists at all, I at least can't distinguish that from whiteboard.
Cases such as rusty-nail cutter vs rusty nail-cutter also turn on which pair of the three words are "compounded", rather than whether the hyphen is present in the compound form.
More tellingly, I now see (hear?!) that, for example, re-creation and pro-verb are distinct from their unhyphenated equivalents. In the absence of contradictory examples, I'm starting to think any difference in meaning can only exist if it's accompanied by a difference in pronunciation.