Reply To: Dash and hyphen

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Dan Gergen
Hello Tung,
The UEB Literary Committee discussed your question and we find it difficult to settle the disagreement without seeing the print copy. The only UEB reference that applies is in §7.1.1 —follow print in transcribing punctuation.
     However, we agree that the normal print convention for connecting numbers such as 198 and 200 or abbreviations such as R and AZ, is to use hyphens—not dashes. If these are actually dashes by comparison to any recognized hyphens in the print text, then your proofreader is correct in insisting they are dashes—but I think most writers generally use dashes to produce an abrupt pause that draws a dramatic halt to the rhythm and flow of a sentence, not to connect numbers or abbreviations. I don't believe the dashes are what the writer intended.
     As a transcriber, you often need to make judgment calls based on what is the impact on the braille reader. The committee suggests you base your decision on the surrounding information in the print text and we agree that the normal convention is to use hyphens to connect numbers such as 198-200 or other related text items such as R-AZ, Dashes on the hand divide text items. and may appear distracting to the reader, such as in your example, 198—200 or R—AZ.
     If you could send a screenshot of the print page, we would be very interested in seeing it.
     Thank you for posting your question in the UEB Literary forum. We are always willing to answer any questions you have.
Dan Gergen
Committee Chair
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Dan Gergen.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Dan Gergen.