Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes

Q. CMOS 6.81 says en dashes can be used to set off campuses of universities, as in “University of Wisconsin–Madison.” When abbreviating the university such that it’s one word, would it make sense to change the en dash to a hyphen? For example, would you write “UW-Madison” with a hyphen because “UW” is now one word?

A. Though either decision could be defended, we prefer to leave en dashes intact in the abbreviated forms of names that include one when spelled out. In other words, the dash survives the shortening of the words without itself undergoing a reduction in length: “UW–Madison.” This decision will lend an appearance of consistency to documents that feature both the abbreviated and spelled-out forms.