Hyphenation is used in English in order to clear any confusion in a phrase or sentence. However, hyphens should not be used with '-ly' adverbs or 'very', so: "The finely tuned engine is roaring."
My question is: What if instead of: (-ly adverb + past participle) formula we have a (noun+adverb) formula? For example, "That noise was ear piercingly loud!" Should we use a hyphen between 'ear' and 'piercingly'? My grammatical sense tells me so because 'noun+adverb' is a very weird sight to me.
Further, would you extend the same rule of non-hyphenation for "very" to the adverb "so"? Meaning, would you write the following phrase with a hyphen or not, "The not so/(very) silent night?"
I'm very conflicted about adding hyphens or not. A detailed answer is very much appreciated.