“Well,” said a friend of mine, with a laugh, “the New York Times thinks hyphens are old-fashioned.”
My god, what in inordinately stupid article! Hyphens exist for clarity. All punctuation exists to make it possible to read our words right the first time through, not have to puzzle over them. (That’s why we have spaces between words, too. We didn’t always.) There’s no virtue in less or more punctuation; only in exactly the right punctuation to communicate clearly.
Charles McGrath, who ought to know better, is just twittering on about fashion.
And I won’t even get into the usefulness of hyphens in typography.