Using proper punctuation marks

I recently learned that the lovable character between the 0 and the = key on QWERTY keyboards is not a hyphen (U+2010) nor a minus (U+2212), but a hyphen–minus (U+002D). Not just that, but I learned of the existence of various dashes, such as the figure dash (U+2012), en dash (U+2013), and em dash (U+2014).

Using proper punctuation marks can be especially hard for the simple fact that they don’t exist on my keyboard. Microsoft Word will automatically replace two hyphens with a dash, but what about the rest of the apps I use? For now, I’m stuck using the tedious Alt+Numpad formula, or copy–pasting from the Character Map. I think this auto–correction would be a great thing to integrate into Windows, perhaps into an IME. Call it the next evolution of input, like how speech recognition was added to Vista.

Posted on November 27, 2007 in Grammar, Punctuation

Related Posts