JDK designer blog

To double-dash, or not to double-dash (should it even be a question?)

Seen it allot, hate it allot; setting off a statement by using a pair of dashes (or hyphens). This occurs most frequently on web pages I see, even from “experienced” web content authors/editors. Please, don’t do it. The correct glyph to use is an em dash. The HTML code to generate this character is —. Sometimes the character may be preceded and followed by a non-breaking white space ( ) to avoid having characters to either side of the em dash crashing into it.

The use of double-dashes is just…I don’t know…the word ‘childish’ seems unnecessarily dramatic, but it definitely illustrates a lack of understanding of what the characters represent. Oh, and while I am at it, when expressing a range of numbers—1 through 10, for example—use an en space to separate the values like this; 1–10. The code for that is –. (See what I did there? Sneak in the proper use of em dashes on ya’.)

These rules are even more important when it comes to printed projects.

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Musings from a work-a-day graphic designer