i love the en dash. i have observed that, like a dining hall, it has many uses. one of my favorites is its service like a hyphen but between compounds. from chicago:
6.80 En dashes with compound adjectives
The en dash can be used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one of its elements consists of an open compound or when both elements consist of hyphenated compounds (see 7.78). This editorial nicety may go unnoticed by the majority of readers; nonetheless, it is intended to signal a more comprehensive link than a hyphen would. It should be used sparingly, and only when a more elegant solution is unavailable. As the first two examples illustrate, the distinction is most helpful with proper compounds, whose limits are established within the larger context by capitalization. The relationship in the third example, though clear enough, depends to some small degree on an en dash that many readers will perceive as a hyphen connecting music and influenced. The relationships in the fourth example, though also clear enough, are less awkwardly conveyed with a comma.
the post–World War II yearsChuck Berry–style lyricscountry music–influenced lyrics (or lyrics influenced by country music)a quasi-public–quasi-judicial body (or, better, a quasi-public, quasi-judicial body)
A single word or prefix should be joined to a hyphenated compound by another hyphen rather than an en dash; if the result is awkward, reword.
non-English-speaking peoplesa two-thirds-full cup (or, better, a cup that is two-thirds full)
An abbreviated compound is treated as a single word, so a hyphen, not an en dash, is used in such phrases as “US-Canadian relations” (Chicago’s sense of the en dash does not extend to between).
here's my recommendation: learn about the en dash, become its friend, and use it. that way, when i try to use it correctly in works i'm editing, the authors won't respond, "i don't want to use that. our readers won't know what that is." friends, the only way readers learn what something is is by encountering it.
i'm a giver like that.