Re: Proposing a DOUBLE HYPHEN punctuation mark

From: SADAHIRO Tomoyuki (
Date: Mon Jan 22 2007 - 07:12:24 CST

  • Next message: Jon Hanna: "Re: Proposing a DOUBLE HYPHEN punctuation mark"

    I think that is almost same as KATAKANA-HIRAGANA DOUBLE HYPHEN
    where both bars are horizontal.

    On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 12:39:17 +0100, Karl Pentzlin wrote

    > I consider to propose a DOUBLE HYPHEN punctuation mark. Before I
    > really do this, I would like to get any opinions and comments.
    > The "double hyphen" I discuss here consists of two stacked dashes,
    > like U+003D EQUALS SIGN, but in most fonts the dashes are shorter,
    > like U+2010 HYPHEN.
    > It should have the same character properties as U+2010 HYPHEN.
    > It is different from the EQUALS SIGN (by appearance and properties),
    > from U+FE66 SMALL EQUALS SIGN (by intended use and properties),
    > and from the accepted *U+A78A MODIFIED LETTER SHORT EQUALS SIGN
    > (by properties, maybe by appearance, and by intended use especially
    > as *U+A78A is a letter).
    > I know that the term "double hyphen" is also used for two consecutive
    > dashes (which are already representable in Unicode e.g. as U+002D U+002D).
    > Therefore there may be a better name as DOUBLE HYPHEN for the "double
    > hyphen" discussed here.
    > In most cases, such a "double hyphen" may be regarded as a glyph variant
    > of the "single hyphen" U+002D or U+2010 (especially when using Fraktur
    > types).
    > But there are cases where this is not the case, but where an explicitly
    > double hyphen is to be distinguished from the standard (single) hyphen
    > in plain text.
    > One special case is covered by the already encoded U+2E17 DOUBLE OBLIQUE
    > HYPHEN, but the "double hyphen" discussed here is not necessary oblique
    > (glyph variants may be straight or oblique in fact).
    > In modern German literature, a "double hyphen" is heavily used by the
    > author Arno Schmidt (1914-1979, see e.g. the German page
    > ). He uses this for some kinds
    > of compound words, contrasting to other uses of the hyphen where he
    > uses the standard (single) hyphen.
    > You find an example at .
    > It is a scan from Arno Schmidt, Abend mit Goldrand, p.143 of the 1993
    > edition. You see the double hyphen within the red circles, together
    > with some single hyphens and (differently looking) equation signs on
    > the same page, showing that the character is not a font variant of the
    > latter two.
    > At (a scan of
    > Dieter E. Zimmer, Sprache im Zeichen ihrer Unverbesserlichkeit,
    > Hamburg 2005, p.169), you see a citation of a text from Arno Schmidt.
    > You see the double hyphen misprinted as an equals sign, due to the lack
    > of a "double hyphen" proper. But you see the double hyphen is cited beside
    > single hyphens within the same text part. This proves that the double
    > hyphen is really needed not only within the text of the author, but
    > also when writing about his work e.g. in Germanistic texts.
    > In a recent proposal to add Medievalist puncuation characters to Unicode
    > (L2/07-004), there is stated:
    > "Although many editors substitute modern for medieval punctuation,
    > a growing number of medievalists insist that modern punctuation cannot
    > adequately represent the syntactical features of medieval texts."
    > If you admit that this applies not only to medieval texts but also to
    > more recent texts and the scientists dealing with them, then it is an
    > argument to include things like the "double hyphen" into Unicode.
    > A different example for citing double hyphens is found at the German
    > site ,
    > where the author also uses equal signs due to the lack of a "double
    > hyphen" proper.
    > A completely different use of a double hyphen like character was found
    > in an earlier version of the proposal L2/066 on 2006-08-23 (it was not
    > subject of that proposal; that document was updated some days later
    > without that example).
    > That version of the document contained on page 7 in figure 7
    > "Sample from Jones 1941 ..." a symbol which resembles U+2E17 DOUBLE
    > OBLIQUE HYPHEN (see ).
    > As the single hyphens in that sample are also oblique, it is likely
    > that the symbol is some kind of double dash distinct from the hyphen
    > while its obliqueness is font specific, thus it seems not to be an
    > U+2E17 proper. Also, it seems not to be an U+003D EQUALS SIGN, as it
    > is repeated on the beginning of the last line of the first column.
    > (Unfortunately, I did not save the whole document at that time, and
    > my question on the Unicore list from 2006-08-23 about the nature of
    > that character got no answer. Thus, at the moment I have no more
    > information available regarding that source).
    > If a "double hyphen" is included into Unicode, it should have an
    > annotation in the lists like U+2E17, stating the intent that it should
    > not be used where a glyph variant of U+002D or U+2010 is appropriate.
    > - Karl Pentzlin

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