Re: En-dash versus em-dash (was: Re: Using the Unicode ellipsis =?UTF-8?Q?=28=E2=80=A6=29?= instead of three periods)

On Mon, 2012-12-10 at 13:15 -0500, Shaun McCance wrote:
> But if we're going to write guidelines, here's my semi-professinal
> opinion:
> * Using hyphens instead of dashes for parenthetical text is awful.
> Using unspaced hyphens-like this-is downright confusing.
> * I'm old and I like unspaced em-dashes (a). A lot of people these
> days are switching to spaced en-dashes (b). I think that trend will
> continue.
> * Spaced em-dashes (c) are way too wide.
> * Unspaced en-dashes are for indicating ranges. We should use those
> too, though the hyphen isn't quite as ugly when misused in this case.

Compelling. I’ve updated the wiki page to standardise on spaced

The only characters left which need discussion are quotation marks.
After looking through a few UI guidelines, the consensus seems to be to
 • use double quotation marks everywhere; or
 • use italics when referring to UI elements and double quotation marks
otherwise (Microsoft’s guidelines).

LibreOffice’s guidelines are the only ones which required using _single_
quotes, but that’s for technical reasons (they didn’t used to be able to
escape double quotes).

This seems fairly conclusive. From a quick look through Totem’s POT
file, quotation marks are mainly used for quoting file names at the
moment. UI labels are often quoted when referenced as well.

Personally I quite like the idea of reducing punctuation clutter by
using text styling (italics, monospace, or something else) for
identifying UI labels and filenames. Mallard renders <gui> elements in a
different colour to the rest of the text, for example, rather than
quoting them.


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