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Dashes versus Hyphens

An FRL reader sent me a message yesterday politely chiding me for using hyphens in place of dashes. Gentle Reader is correct, but please let me whine: it’s not my fault.

The irony is that few things peeve me more–with the possible exception of its/it’s confusion–than hyphens used in lieu of dashes. And in that previous sentence, from inside the editor, I typed a dash as I have done for years, using two hyphens. It is the presentation that is mangled, not the author, I assume by some devil coding lurking within the theme.

The suggestion that I use the HTML code for the dash would require I not use the visual editor, and there’s a reason it’s called the visual editor: so I can write rather than code. Miss FRL’s brain does not care to pick nails out of horseshoes every few yards.

Associated Press tells me to place spaces around the dash — let me try that — but if that doesn’t work, I may need some help. From this end it appears to make a difference, but in any event, if I type two hyphens in a row, I mean two hyphens, not one, and I don’t need my decision overridden by a piece of software.

Regardless, I agree: hyphens are not dashes, and shame on WordPress, or this theme, or Satan, for mucking with good punctuation. If you don’t feel passionate about that, my apologies, but my Gentle Reader is correct to be irked, and I appreciate that he raised the issue.

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