Three types of phrasal adjectives are treated according to the same basic rules, as shown in the following (erroneous) examples, which are discussed and revised below each sentence.
First, a definition: A phrasal adjective is a phrase consisting of two or more words that, when combined, constitute a single expression of modification of a noun. Phrasal adjectives are usually hyphenated when they precede a noun but left open when they follow one.
1. Embracing change is the only viable alternative to becoming a victim of the never ending cycle and escalating speed of innovation.
The words never and ending team up to serve as a synonym for endless. Because they precede cycle, they are hyphenated to communicate their interrelationship as modifying elements: “Embracing change is the only viable alternative to becoming a victim of the never-ending cycle and escalating speed of innovation.”
2. The researchers highlighted the follow the herd mentality the students exhibited.
A phrasal adjective can also consist of more than two words, as in this verb-article-noun idiom, which modifies mentality: “The researchers highlighted the follow-the-herd mentality the students exhibited.”
3. For New York Stock Exchange-listed organizations, the audit committee charter must include the committee’s duties and responsibilities.
When a proper noun consisting of more than one word is linked with another word to form a phrasal adjective, an en dash is employed as a “superhyphen” to indicate that despite the number of words in the phrasal adjective, it consists of only two elements—the proper noun and the adjective listed: “For New York Stock Exchange–listed organizations, the audit committee charter must include the committee’s duties and responsibilities.”
The original treatment mistakenly implies that the phrasal adjective is Exchange-listed, and that the three preceding words are unrelated, and the alternative “For New-York-Stock-Exchange-listed” is unwieldy and suggests that the elements of the proper noun are discrete. However, a better solution is to relax the sentence as shown here: “For organizations listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the audit committee charter must include the committee’s duties and responsibilities.”