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Forums: Index > The Wizengamot archive > Suggested Policy/Guideline


I suggest a policy or guideline concerning dashes, usually dashes are formated wrong, and confused with hyphens.

I would just like something like this posted as a guideline for editing, in the policy page, it justs lets people know of the proper use of dashes.

This is taken from wookieepedia as an example

Proper use of the dash

Many Wookieepedians incorrectly use hyphens instead of dashes, either because they do not know how to type dashes or because they do not bother to type them. In correct articles, dashes should be used as follows:

  • Dates should use the more proper en dash. If one or both dates have "c." in front of them, the dash should be surrounded by spaces.
Example: incorrect: "(19 BBY - [[19 ABY)" correct: "(19 BBY–19 ABY)"
Example: incorrect: "(20 BBY - c. [[20 ABY)" correct: "(20 BBY – c. 20 ABY)"
  • When one end of the range of dates/numbers is missing, an em dash needs to be used.
Example: incorrect: "(19 BBY - ?)" correct: "(19 BBY—)"
Example: incorrect: "(? - c. 20 ABY)" correct: "(—c. 20 ABY)"
  • Within a paragraph, neither one hyphen ' - ' nor two hyphens ' -- ' should be used instead of a dash. The proper way to make a dash in a sentence is to use an em dash not surrounded by spaces.
Example: incorrect: "Star Wars is - as everyone knows - amazing." correct: "Star Wars is—as everyone knows—amazing."
Example: mildly incorrect: "Star Wars is--as everyone knows--amazing." correct: "Star Wars is—as everyone knows—amazing."
  • The only times that you use a hyphen, are:
    • making words not look dumb (re-evaluate looks better than reevaluate)
    • joining ≥two words that serve as a single adjective of a noun in subject (but not when in predicate)
      • when hyphenating compound words, such as "open-source", or word combinations, such as "Galactic Empire", use an en dash (e.g. "open-source–based web browser" and "Post–Galactic Empire Era")
    • prefixes/suffixes (ex. re-review a film)
    • compound numbers

Typing dashes

  • One of the easiest ways is to create em dashes by typing "—" and en dashes by typing "–".
  • Alternatively, a GUI character selection program can be used to insert dashes directly into the edit box without using HTML markup. In case of Windows, you can use the Character Map application (charmap.exe). Similar programs exist on other platforms as well.
  • Using Windows, you can type Alt-0150 to produce an en dash or Alt-0151 for an em dash. Remember that digit keys need to be pressed on the numpad and for some browsers, such as Opera, Num Lock mode must be on.


-- Ratneer Owl Me! 03:20, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

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