Re: Proposing a DOUBLE HYPHEN punctuation mark

From: SADAHIRO Tomoyuki (
Date: Wed Jan 24 2007 - 05:44:35 CST

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    On Tue, 23 Jan 2007 13:34:57 -0800, Asmus Freytag wrote

    > > Katakana isn't a good argument here, Schmidt wasn't writing Japanese.
    > > If it's in Katakana it is surely a different character entirely.
    > I disagree, as explained above. The double hyphen is not a traditional
    > Japanese character, but a notation that's used by scholars, it's the
    > (generic) idea of a double hyphen applied to annotate a particular
    > feature. That does not make this character a Katakana character any more
    > than it would make a question mark applied to a Katakana sentence a
    > Katakana character. This was a clear case of a mis-analysis because we
    > had a proposal that came in a particular context and we didn't have the
    > full problem worked out.

    As one of scientific usages of the double hyphen in Kana, this character
    is used as the replacement of space, which is not orthographically
    inserted between words in the Kana scripts.

    As an example, here is a webpage about the control of chemical
    substances by the Japanese Government.

    For example, the substance of CAS (Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number)
    is 63721-05-1 has a Japanese name "METIRU=3,3-ZIMETIRU-4-PENTENO¬TO".
    The corresponding English name is "methyl 3,3-dimethyl-4-pentenoate".

    Another example of CAS:379-52-2 in
    English: triphenyltin fluoride
    (SUZU is the Japanese for tin (a chemical element) in English.)

    These example shows the convention that a hyphen is left as is, and
    a space is replaced with a double hyphen. Such a convention has
    been specified by The Chemical Society of Japan (

    SADAHIRO Tomoyuki

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