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Re: Em dashes not treated as punctuation
Re: Em dashes not treated as punctuation
Fri, 27 Jul 2007 20:08:01 -0700
Thunderbird 220.127.116.11 (Windows/20070716)
Yep, I know about those. I'm not meaning to reference hyphens at all (but
rather the dashes between two words—not a hyphen that is part of a word or used
to combine two words). I know spaced or double hyphens are often used when the
dashes are impractical, in less formal writings, however.
Mats Bengtsson wrote:
I hope you already know about the support for hyphens in
LilyPond, see section "Hyphens and extenders" in the manual.
Mark Dewey wrote:
I've noticed that em dashes aren't treated as punctuation, but rather
as letters (and thus part of the words).
I can see some reasons why this may have been overlooked, though:
1. Em dashes require special actions to type (and in LilyPond they
would probably be encoded as UTF-8 characters, though they are also in
the extended ASCII set).
2. In normal writing (outside of LilyPond) there are not spaces
between em dashes and the words surrounding them. (so, typing
word1—word2 in a lyrics context would treat it as a single word)
3. Not everyone is consciously aware of em dashes (although they are
very commonly used anyway).
Anyway, this is the character I mean: —
On a PC, create it by holding alt and typing 0151.
I don't know if they're really called em dashes, but I saw some
website call them that once.
Anyway, ideally, in a music notation program, there would be no space
between the em dash and the words around it. Sometimes, however, this
may not be practical, but in those cases it seems that unless the em
dash is separating off a segment ending the sentence, there should be
equal space between the word behind it and the word in front of it.
If there is only one em dash in a sentence, (or if it is separating
off a segment to end the sentence) it seems it should at least be
placed tightly next to the left word, with the space (this part alone
is easy enough to do, if you don't mind the space after it).
Anyway, I haven't seen a way to make this how I've generally seen it
done in printed sheet music, in LilyPond, so far, but it would
definitely make for a more professional look.
Here are some example sentences with how it seems the em dashes should
1. I went to the store—so did she, at that.
(If the above couldn't be so tight, the ideal would be to have the
space after it: I went to the store— so did she, at that)
2. We were looking for a blue car—Susy wanted a black car—for the show.
(If the above couldn't be so tight, it seems the ideal would be to
have equal space around the em dashes: We were looking for a blue car
— Susy wanted a black car — for the show)
Also, no space between the dash and the left word if the right word is
on another line:
i.e. first word—
Here are some examples of how it seems it shouldn't look:
I went to the store —so did she, at that.
I went to the store — so did she, at that.
We were looking for a blue car— Susy wanted a black car— for the show.
We were looking for a blue car —Susy wanted a black car —for the show.
We were looking for a blue car —Susy wanted a black car— for the show.
We were looking for a blue car— Susy wanted a black car —for the show.
Whatever the case, it looks much better (much more professional, and
much more like it looks in literature) having them as tight as
possible, whenever possible.
Right now, the only fix I know of seems to be to always add some
spacing (which is very difficult to make equal, as it must be done
differently every time, and this can shift when something else about
the music does), unless there is only one separating em dash.
But it should be noted that these are fixes, and probably not what
should be the end solution (especially for how often these things show
up). Anyway, I don't think Finale does this either (or any other
computer notation program), but it seems calculable enough to
integrate without problems.
Maybe you want to talk to an expert on these dashes before taking my
views on what it seems they should and shouldn't look like to heart,
though, but I'm sure they'll at least agree that it is ideal to have
them as tight as possible on both sides. My views primarily come from
what I've seen done in musical printings (not from computer programs
for notating music), and in printed literature.
I don't know if you could (or would want to) actually make it so the
character itself was treated as punctuation. Maybe it would be better
to have some simple code to input one between two words (that way you
perhaps wouldn't have to deal with UTF-8 stuff so much, if that's a
problem, and people who don't know how to type them would only have to
learn the code to input, rather than the unicode stuff, or whatever).
Anyway, either way is fine with me, if you do it.
Anyway, thanks for letting me post, and do well, with whatever you do.
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