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Dashes: - vs. – vs. —

I don't know if here is the best place to ask, but my question involves three symbols, so here we go:

What symbol should I use to connect two names, for example, Cauchy-Riemann?

Usually I use -- but what is the difference between -- and \--? Or the correct symbol is only one dash -?


I'm sure that there are many typographical conventions for just this topic, and no single convention can claim to be obviously superior. That said, the following convention does seem to be fairly common:

  • To typeset the hyphenated last name of one person, use a - (single dash, hyphen).

  • To denote that some object is associated with the names of two (or more) people, use a -- (en-dash). Examples: Cauchy--Schwartz Inequality, the Gauss--Legendre normal distribution, etc.

However, as I already said, national typographic conventions may be different. When in doubt, always follow your nation's typographic conventions...

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