I see a ton of questions on hyphenated words, specifically, but nothing on the more general question how/when they're supposed to be used vs omitted. Another great answer gives some general rules on hyphens:
A hyphen is used to join words in a compound construction, or separate syllables of a word, like during a line break, or (self-evidently) a hyphenated name.
..but this leaves the greater question of when this "compound construction" should be used, open.
Consider this a "canonical" usage question, then.
A common usage I see is "day-of-the-week" vs. "day of the week". Both of these seem correct, and are read out loud identically from what I can tell.
Some other common examples I've seen:
- "Video-of-the-month club"
- "Give-and-take arrangement"
- "State-of-the-art technology"
- "Friendly-looking person"
I see very little difference in meaning in the above phrases, both with and without the hyphens.
When should hyphens or dashes in multi-word (or is it multi word? or multiword?) phrases be used?