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Re: [Groff] Re: Hyphens and Dashes

From: Alejandro López-Valencia
Subject: Re: [Groff] Re: Hyphens and Dashes
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 06:19:17 -0500

At 01:48 a.m. 02/04/2004, Bernhard Fisseni wrote:

For German, this used to be the rules for typography in Duden, which are
pretty short, though; it doesn't even mention the length of a dash,
although all examples have an en dash (or something similar).

Considering the Duden is as thick as a full edition of the Bible. One rule and then 460 exceptions... :-)

> Javier Bezos, his web site, particularly

Interesting: His text was the first non-American text in which I've
noticed the em-dash-without-space convention (checking on the only book
printed in Spain I own: it also follows this convention; I admit I
haven't read it far enough to see any dashes...).

But do notice that the rule is different: <space><em dash><nobreak>incerpt text<nobreak><em dash><optional space if no punctuation>.

BTW, the en dash and the 3/4 dash are foreign to Spanish, so we get by with the dash and the hyphen (and we do just fine, thank you very much). As well the use of & as abbreviation for "and" is an Anglicism; "and" in Spanish is "y", could it get any shorter? The use of & as a replacement for "and" is etymologically incorrect anyway. I believe that is the case in German as well?

On the matter of quoting I forgot to mention previously that the "English typographer quotes" fulfill in Spanish the role of the single quotes in English: «El dijo, ``¡Fandango!''» (ISO-8859-1 doesn't have those little pesky quotes).

 I've also found that
this conclusion can often be drawn symmetrically: a text that has en
dashes with space is usually non-American, even if it's in English.  I'm
not sure whether that's a coincidence.

I don`t think so either. I often wonder if the first US typesetters were so eager to differentiate themselves from the "old country" that if the lived today, they would be piercing their eye-lids.

Alejandro López-Valencia
The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
(L. Wittgenstein)

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