How to share images in the forum :)
It's easy to share images in the Duolingo forum.
Make a url for the image. You can upload an image to imgur to do this. Once you upload the image - grab the URL.
Enter the following with the url of the image you'd like to share into your comment:
You can copy and paste these:
- Em dash (U+2014) —
- En dash (U+2013) –
- Multiplication sign (U+00D7) ×
- Ellipsis (U+2026) …
- Right-facing arrow (U+2192) →
These are the Unicode characters I use most often. On Linux, you can simply press Ctrl-Shift-U and then type the code point to insert the character.
Also see here for an explanation on the dash differences (and the minus sign U+2212 − which is not a dash or hyphen!)
edit: also, this is another good resource
The "dash differences" are interesting. When there was only a hyphen available on the keyboard of a typewriter there of course were no em- or en-dashes, and they were typed this way:
* hyphen (no spaces around it, except when used as in the 2nd sentence above)
* minus sign (space before it, or space before and after if used as subtraction sign)
* en-dash (no spaces around it)
dash : two hyphens with no space between them, or around them [almost always] (--)
Is there any reason to use an en-dash? Using the hyphen will do just as well for reading. Both en- and em-dashes are not in the ASCII character set..
Yes: you most commonly use an en-dash for number ranges (pages 10–20, exhibits A–E). You can also use it for multi-word hyphenations, such as "stock market–related."
Regarding ASCII: there's really not too much in ASCII. Everything supports the Unicode standard now.
See here for more hyphen/dash info.
Yes, I understand what en-dashes are to be used for. But I'd like to know why they are used. They don't do anything that a hyphen will not do just as well.
"Everything" does not use the Unicode standard now. I suspect that there are still out there far more webpages in 8-bit character sets than in Unicode. Certainly there is an enormous number of pages in the Russian language that use 8-bit code pages, and they all have ASCII as the first half of the code pages, but not em- or en-dashes.
But that doesn't matter. The question is, what good does an en-dash actually do?
slogger's question is perfectly legitimate. Unfortunely, the only answer is "We do things that way because that's how we have always done them." If this is unsatisfying, it is still the reason we do 99% of things we do. We may find reasons to support doing them as we do them, but we actually do them that way because that's just how it has "always" (in our experience) been done. Welcome to mortal life among the human race.
To understand the why, you’d need to delve into the history of typography. For example, old German typefaces had hyphens which looked like tilted equal signs, and thus were entirely unsuitable for performing double duty as dashes. (Hyphens were generally designed to match a typeface’s style, while dashes were rules [thin straight lines] of defined widths.)
> "We do things that way because that's how we have always done them."
All the way back to prehistoric times, eh, and maybe beyond?
This is not a "chicken-and-egg" question. We have not always done things that way. I started programming computers in the 1970s and we did not use em- or en-dashes at that time. Notice, for instance, that they are not in the ASCII set of characters designed in the early 1960s for universal use by computers, which is still in use worldwide (the first 128 characters in a code page, and a subset of UTF-8, etc.). Someone decided since then that we should use em- and en-dashes as we do on computers.
The only advantage I can see is not "automatically" and "accidentally" splitting up a dash (two adjacent hyphens) when formatting text. Formatting text is not a "natural" thing, and someone had to make that decision.
Anyway, it's not a subject i want to debate. I've said my say, and just because I find em- and especially en-dashes a needless, annoying, almost useless complication won't change anything.
You are missing the point, slogger. I'm actually agreeing with you; I don't see the sense in having two separate dash symbols, plus a hyphen, plus a negative sign, plus a subtraction sign, plus a mid-level horizontal slash... But even if we put them both together, our combined opinions won't get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
The point is, those separate dash symbols grew out of separate use cases. The fact that you never used them in programming is utterly irrelevant; these are typographic issues, not coding issues. And there are perfectly good, logical, eminently practicable historical reasons that these things have evolved -- even if you really dislike them, and despite your absurdly hyperliteral interpretation of my wording.
The question of whether we ought to keep separate dashes is worthy of discussion. Maybe, at some point in time, we will be in a position to do something about it. But simply dismissing the existence of various midline horizontal separators and saying how stupid it is that they even exist is ignorant, and in any case useless.
I'm glad we're in agreement, sbeecroft.
The point I was trying to make was concerning "We do things that way because that's how we have always done them." In this case that is not so. There is no "always" for computers. Someone had to introduce the use of em- and (especially) en-dashes onto computers at some time. There is no reason that en-dashes should have been accepted when a hyphen will do as well and is already on our keyboards, so that we need not waste keystrokes entering octal numbers to put hyphen equivalents into our texts.
But you are right, it's done now. The only thing we can do about it, really, is to not bother with en-dashes. Probably no one will notice.
> To understand the why . . .
But "old German typefaces" have nothing to do with why what was standard a generation or two ago in English should be complicated by something that really serves no useful purpose. Using dashes and hyphens--doing without em- and en-dashes--is perfectly legible. Why complicate things to no purpose?
Ok... I'm practicing
! [Duo] (https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=firefox-b-ab&dcr=0&biw=1440&bih=725&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=thank+you+gif+&oq=thank+you+gif+&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l4.4449.6278.0.63220.127.116.11.0.0.0.242.525.2j1j1.4.0.dummy_maps_web_fallback...0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.4.522...0i67k1.0.5TuUu3gGRoI#imgrc=-4mB2GjfBnIV_M:)
(Don't think this is gonna work)
Is it trustworthy? I'll get in BIG trouble if I virus this computer