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Let's imagine we have an organization named EFSMA-EE and another called EFSMA Telecom (EFSMA is an acronym).

If I want to compose these with another word (e.g. "time" - as in "full-time"), what should I do?

Just add the hyphen?

EFSMA-EE-time and EFSMA Telecom-time?

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I would refer to this answer to another question which enumarates guideline to create compounds. – Eldroß Feb 23 '11 at 10:46
@Eldros: Nothing is told about acronyms. – John Assymptoth Feb 23 '11 at 10:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It is usually better to rephrase such constructions. However, if you cannot do this, you can use an en dash instead. Quoting from The Chicago Manual of Style:

The en dash is used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements is an open compound or when two or more of its elements are open compounds or hyphenated compounds (e.g., a quasi-public–quasi-judicial body, the post–World War II years).

You can write the phrase in your question as

EFSMA-EE–time and EFSMA Telecom–time

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Thanks. The answer I was looking for. – John Assymptoth Feb 23 '11 at 10:56
Per Chicago, I believe the convention is to use the en dash first, hyphen second. EFSMA[en dash]EE-time, etc. – The Raven Feb 23 '11 at 15:49
@The Raven: My interpretation is that the already-hyphenated compound (EFSMA[hyphen]EE) stays hyphenated, and you use the en dash to add the third word, either before or after the term (to do which you would normally use a hyphen). For instance, in quasi-public–quasi-judicial, quasi-public and quasi-judicial are both already hyphenated, and the en dash is used to join the two hyphenated terms. If we were saying pre–EFSMA-EE, the en dash would, as you say, be used first. But if we say, EFSMA-EE–time, EFSMA-EE stays hyphenated, and the en dash is used after. – Tragicomic Feb 23 '11 at 16:06

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