Re: en and em dashes

Subject: Re: en and em dashes
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 14:44:08 -0800

On Tue, 21 May 1996 15:41:32 +0000, LaVonna Funkhouser wrote:

>> >Anyway . . . Try for an em dash alt+0151. For an en dash alt+0150.
>>
>> In word 7.0 (for 95) its autocorrect turns any two regular dashes -- into an
>> em dash.

>More food for thought:

>If those Alt+0151, etc. dashes are going into an HTML document
>for the WWW, think twice. Those codes are Windows specific, and I've
>observed web pages with lines like, "Call uswe're the best!" when
>they meant, "Call us--we're the best!" as viewed on UNIX browsers.

Excellent point, LaVonna. In fact, in QEdit's ASCII chart, characters
150 and 151 are accented 'u's (sorry, don't know the names of the exact
accents off the top of my head - 150's the little hat, 151's the
reverse apostrophe :)

Meanwhile, typing Alt-150 and Alt-151 directly into QEdit, as well as
here in PMMail, gives me mathematical symbols -- it all varies widely
depending on what codepage your system is using (which varies depending
on where in the world you live!) and which character set the
application is using.

>For HTML, I usually stick to two hyphens (--), although by now there
>may be a universal HTML code for a dash.

I think this is one instance where the good of the few is too trivial
to ever possibly outweigh the good of the many. Personally, I think it
would be extremely arrogant to use an HTML
3.0/Netscape/Explorer-specific character for the priviledged few, when
a pair of hyphens will work just as well and will show up the same to
any browser in existence.



Your friend and mine,
Matt
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