Hyphen

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This article is about the punctuation mark. Hyphen_sentence_0

For other uses, see Hyphen (disambiguation). Hyphen_sentence_1

The hyphen ‐ is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. Hyphen_sentence_2

The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. Hyphen_sentence_3

Non-hyphenated is an example of a hyphenated word. Hyphen_sentence_4

The hyphen should not be confused with dashes (figure dash ‒, en dash –, em dash —, horizontal bar ―), which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign −, which is also longer and more vertically centred in some typefaces. Hyphen_sentence_5

As an orthographic concept, the hyphen is a single entity. Hyphen_sentence_6

In terms of character encoding and display, the entity is represented by any of several characters and glyphs (including hard hyphens, soft or optional hyphens, and non-breaking hyphens), depending on the context of use (discussed below). Hyphen_sentence_7

Although hyphens are not to be confused with en dashes and minus signs, there are some overlaps in usage (in which either a hyphen or an en dash may be acceptable, depending on user preference, as discussed below) and in informal typing (which often uses the same character – called a "hyphen-minus" – to represent any of the hyphen, the minus sign and the en dash, see below). Hyphen_sentence_8

Etymology Hyphen_section_0

The word is derived from Ancient Greek ὑφ' ἕν (huph' hén), contracted from ὑπό ἕν (hypó hén), "in one" (literally "under one"). Hyphen_sentence_9

The word (ἡ) ὑφέν ((he) hyphén) was used for an undertie-like ‿ sign written below two consecutive letters to indicate that they belong to the same word when it was necessary to avoid ambiguity, before the space 'character' was in regular use. Hyphen_sentence_10

Use in English Hyphen_section_1

Varied meanings Hyphen_section_2

Some stark examples of semantic changes caused by the placement of hyphens to mark attributive phrases: Hyphen_sentence_11

Hyphen_unordered_list_0

  • Disease-causing poor nutrition is poor nutrition that causes disease.Hyphen_item_0_0
  • Disease causing poor nutrition is a disease that causes poor nutrition.Hyphen_item_0_1
  • A hard-working man is a man who works hard.Hyphen_item_0_2
  • A hard working man is a working man who is tough.Hyphen_item_0_3
  • A man-eating shark is a shark that eats humans.Hyphen_item_0_4
  • A man eating shark is a man who is eating shark meat.Hyphen_item_0_5
  • Three-hundred-year-old trees are an indeterminate number of trees that are each 300 years old.Hyphen_item_0_6
  • Three hundred-year-old trees are three trees that are each 100 years old.Hyphen_item_0_7
  • Three hundred year-old trees are 300 trees that are each a year old.Hyphen_item_0_8

Origin and history Hyphen_section_3

The first known documentation of the hyphen is in the grammatical works of Dionysius Thrax. Hyphen_sentence_12

At the time hyphenation was joining two words that would otherwise be read separately by a low tie mark between the two words. Hyphen_sentence_13

In Greek these marks were known as enotikon, officially romanized as a hyphen. Hyphen_sentence_14

With the introduction of letter-spacing in the Middle Ages, the hyphen, still written beneath the text, reversed its meaning. Hyphen_sentence_15

Scribes used the mark to connect two words that had been incorrectly separated by a space. Hyphen_sentence_16

This era also saw the introduction of the marginal hyphen, for words broken across lines. Hyphen_sentence_17

The modern format of the hyphen originated with Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany, c. 1455 with the publication of his 42-line Bible. Hyphen_sentence_18

His tools did not allow for a hyphen, and he thus moved it to the middle of the line. Hyphen_sentence_19

Examination of an original copy on vellum (Hubay index #35) in the U. Hyphen_sentence_20 S. Library of Congress shows that Gutenberg's movable type was set justified in a uniform style, 42 equal lines per page. Hyphen_sentence_21

The Gutenberg printing press required words made up of individual letters of type to be held in place by a surrounding non-printing rigid frame. Hyphen_sentence_22

Gutenberg solved the problem of making each line the same length to fit the frame by inserting a hyphen as the last element at the right-side margin. Hyphen_sentence_23

This interrupted the letters in the last word, requiring the remaining letters be carried over to the start of the line below. Hyphen_sentence_24

His double hyphen appears throughout the Bible as a short, double line inclined to the right at a 60-degree angle: ⸗ Hyphen_sentence_25

In computing Hyphen_section_4

Usage in date notation Hyphen_section_5

Further information: Date and time representation by country Hyphen_sentence_26

In parts of Europe and in India, the hyphen is used to delineate parts within a written date. Hyphen_sentence_27

Germans and Slavs also used Roman numerals for the month; 14‑VII‑1789 (14 July 1789), for example, is one way of writing the first Bastille Day, though this usage is rapidly falling out of favour. Hyphen_sentence_28

Plaques on the wall of the Moscow Kremlin are written this way. Hyphen_sentence_29

Use of hyphens, as opposed to the slashes used in the English language, is specified for international standards. Hyphen_sentence_30

International standard ISO 8601, which was accepted as European Standard EN 28601 and incorporated into various typographic style guides (e.g., DIN 5008 in Germany), brought about a new standard using the hyphen. Hyphen_sentence_31

Now all official European governmental documents use this. Hyphen_sentence_32

These norms prescribe writing dates using hyphens: 1789-07-14 is the new way of writing the first Bastille Day. Hyphen_sentence_33

This is also the typical date format used in large parts of Eastern Europe and Asia, although sometimes with other separators than the hyphen. Hyphen_sentence_34

This method has gained influence within North America, as most common computer filesystems make the use of slashes difficult or impossible. Hyphen_sentence_35

DOS, OS/2 and Windows simultaneously support both \ and / as directory separators, but / is also used to introduce and separate switches to shell commands (unless reconfigured to use the hyphen-minus in DOS). Hyphen_sentence_36

Unix-like systems use / as a directory separator and, while \ is legal in filenames, it is awkward to use as the shell uses it as an escape character. Hyphen_sentence_37

Unix also uses a space followed by a hyphen to introduce switches. Hyphen_sentence_38

Apart from the separator used the non-year form of the date format is also identical to the standard American representation. Hyphen_sentence_39

Unicode Hyphen_section_6

Apart from dash and minus sign, Unicode has multiple hyphen characters: Hyphen_sentence_40

Hyphen_unordered_list_1

  • U+002D - HYPHEN-MINUS (HTML -), a character of multiple usesHyphen_item_1_9
  • U+00AD SOFT HYPHEN (HTML ­ · ­) (see note)Hyphen_item_1_10
  • U+2010 ‐ HYPHEN (HTML ‐ · ‐, ‐)Hyphen_item_1_11
  • U+2011 ‑ NON-BREAKING HYPHEN (HTML ‑)Hyphen_item_1_12

Note: The SOFT HYPHEN serves as an invisible marker used to specify a place in text where a hyphenated break is allowed without forcing a line break in an inconvenient place if the text is re-flowed. Hyphen_sentence_41

It becomes visible only after word wrapping at the end of a line. Hyphen_sentence_42

And in non-Latin scripts: Hyphen_sentence_43

Hyphen_unordered_list_2

  • U+058A ֊ ARMENIAN HYPHEN (HTML ֊)Hyphen_item_2_13
  • U+1806 ᠆ MONGOLIAN TODO SOFT HYPHEN (HTML ᠆)Hyphen_item_2_14
  • U+1B60 ᭠ BALINESE PAMENENG (HTML ᭠) (used only as a line-breaking hyphen)Hyphen_item_2_15
  • U+2E17 ⸗ DOUBLE OBLIQUE HYPHEN (HTML ⸗) (used in ancient Near-Eastern linguistics and in blackletter typefaces)Hyphen_item_2_16
  • U+05BE ־ HEBREW PUNCTUATION MAQAF (HTML ־) (used in hebrew)Hyphen_item_2_17
  • U+30FB ・ KATAKANA MIDDLE DOT (HTML ・) (has the Unicode property of "Hyphen" despite its name)Hyphen_item_2_18
  • U+FE63 ﹣ SMALL HYPHEN-MINUS (HTML ﹣) (compatibility character for a small hyphen-minus, used in East Asian typography)Hyphen_item_2_19
  • U+FF0D - FULLWIDTH HYPHEN-MINUS (HTML -) (compatibility character for a wide hyphen-minus, used in East Asian typography)Hyphen_item_2_20
  • U+FF65 ・ HALFWIDTH KATAKANA MIDDLE DOT (HTML ・) (compatibility character for a wide katakana middle dot, has the Unicode property of "Hyphen" despite its name)Hyphen_item_2_21

Unicode distinguishes the hyphen from the general interpunct. Hyphen_sentence_44

The characters below do not have the Unicode property of "Hyphen" despite their names: Hyphen_sentence_45

Hyphen_unordered_list_3

  • U+1400 ᐀ CANADIAN SYLLABICS HYPHEN (HTML ᐀)Hyphen_item_3_22
  • U+2027 ‧ HYPHENATION POINT (HTML ‧)Hyphen_item_3_23
  • U+2043 ⁃ HYPHEN BULLET (HTML ⁃ · ⁃)Hyphen_item_3_24
  • U+2E1A ⸚ HYPHEN WITH DIAERESIS (HTML ⸚)Hyphen_item_3_25
  • U+2E40 ⹀ DOUBLE HYPHEN (HTML ⹀)Hyphen_item_3_26
  • U+30A0 ゠ KATAKANA-HIRAGANA DOUBLE HYPHEN (HTML ゠)Hyphen_item_3_27
  • U+10EAD 𐺭 YEZIDI HYPHENATION MARK (HTML 𐺭)Hyphen_item_3_28

(See interpunct and bullet (typography) for more round characters.) Hyphen_sentence_46

See also Hyphen_section_7

Hyphen_unordered_list_4


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyphen.