Subject: Re: DASH IN PDF
From: Chris Kowalchuk <chris -at- BDK -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 13:31:26 -0400


Actually, different-sized dashes have very particular meanings in
published material. I say published material because many people do not
always follow the conventions, especially if the software they are using
(or their typewriter) does not include all of the various dashes.
Generally, the use of dashes does not have much to do with emphasis.

Hyphens are the short dashes, used to connect words together, or parts
of words that do not usually go together (as in "non-native"). They are
also used to connect a noun to an adjective or adverb so that together
they can modify a noun, as in "leaf-eating insect".

The n-dash is a longer dash (than the hyphen) and basically replaces the
word "to" in ranges and ratios. For example, 1?5 (unfortunately, I don't
think n-dashes come out properly in plain text, but if you can set
your mail reader to a proportional font--such as Times New Roman or most
fonts, really--then my examples in this e-mail should appear to be
different sizes).

The m-dash is the long one. It is used in place of parentheses () to
interject an aside or comment?as I am doing right now?or it can replace
a colon when what follows is a list or clarification. It is often used
in titles, as in "Dogs?their ways and habitat". Note that when you
cannot produce an m-dash, it is better form to replace it with two
hyphens "--" instead of just one.

If the problem you were mentioning is font-specific, you may be able to
get around it by using the extended character set. If you are running on
a Windows platform, you can hold down the ALT key, and type 0151 to get
the m-dash, and ALT 0150 to get the n-dash. This should work with most
fonts, and may solve your problem. The problem may be related to the
fact that some font sets create their own symbol characters which then
do not convert when you change fonts, or which might not be recognizable
to some programs. Usually, using the ASCII character set (by using the
keystrokes) will get around this problem. If you are not using an
American keyboard, however, I don't know if this will work (or the
keystrokes might be different).

Hope this helps

Chris Kowalchuk

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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