Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes
Q. If someone has a compound surname like “De Chicago-Smith,” do we use an en dash? I understand the rationale, but I think it looks weird (but who cares what I think?). What about “De Chicago-Von Suedkurve Auf Der CSS&SBRR,” for example?
A. Although a simple hyphenated name normally takes (no surprise) a hyphen, a name with multiple appendages might be able to pull off the slightly longer en dash. Anyone with such a dazzling name as “De Chicago–Von Suedkurve Auf Der CSS&SBRR” deserves all the dashes and doodads they want. (And we care what you think.)