Page ranges in an index

Subject: Page ranges in an index
From: "D. Margulis" <ampersandvirgule -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 17:25:21 -0400

Toni and Steve,

The usual typographic convention is the opposite of Toni's suggestion.
As with most of these low-level decisions, this is not a case of right
and wrong; rather it is a case of the moving target formed by the
consensus of working editors and typographers (see today's discussion of
the placement of quotes). So I'm not trying to step on the toes of
anyone who like another style. (The long apologia is intended to prevent
the argumentative flames I usually get after posting a piece of
typographical advice.)

In general, an en dash substitutes for a preposition--usually the
preposition _to_. Thus it is used in number ranges, date ranges, time
ranges--and page ranges.

The separator between chapter number and page number is usually a
hyphen, as this construction does not represent a range. (Take a look at
legal journals and scholarly journals for examples of these
conventions.)

Space-en dash-space is often used to represent a mathematical minus sign
(when a distinct minus sign glyph is not available), and the spaces are
therefore semantic, as they distinguish the minus sign from the
en-dash-as-preposition usage. The spaces used are usually en quads,
which are the same width as the minus sign itself.

In non-technical works (where confusion with a minus sign would not be
likely), some publishers style their grammatical dashes (seen in this
email as two consecutive hyphens) as space-en-dash-space, although
usually with a thin space or a soft space rather than an en quad. Others
do something similar with a 3/4-em or 2/3-em dash and thin spaces.

Space-hyphen-space almost always looks amateurish and most professionals
avoid using it for anything at all.

I hope this is helpful to someone and that anyone who does not find it
helpful just deletes it without crexing at me.

Thanks,

Dick


Toni Williams TPG/SG wrote:
>
> FWIW, I use an en dash in the page number and a space hyphen space
> combination in the index to designate the range.
>
> Toni
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Stephen D. Murphy [SMTP:sdmurphy -at- SHEPARD-PATTERSON -dot- COM]
> > Sent: Friday, September 11, 1998 5:47 PM
> > To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> > Subject: Page ranges in an index
> >
> > Hi Techwrlers,
> >
> > I've developing a manual with two-level page numbers in each chapter
> > (e.g., the first page in chapter 4 is page 4-1). We're doing this to
> > facilitate easy changes to the manual.
> >
> > Now, I am building an index (FrameMaker) and I want to indicate a page
> > range for some topics. It looks awkward, since there is a dash already
> > in the page number. For example:
> > "4-1-4-3" to indicate" 4-1 to 4-3"
> >
> > I can think of several approaches:
> > 1. Don't use ranges (a cop-out)
> > 2. Use the word "to" as a separator (awkward and dumb-looking)
> > 3. Use an en- or em-dash for the "to" part (doesn't really do the job
> > very well)
> >
> > I'd like to come up with something that doesn't require a change to
> > the
> > basic page number for the chapters (no roman numerals, no colon in the
> > page number, etc.)
> >
> > Does anyone know if there is a "prescribed" solution to this, or have
> > you found your own way to handle it?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > -Steve
> >
>

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