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Notice of RFC[edit]


Please help improve this related article. Comments should be placed at that Talk page rather than here.

There is currently a discussion and !vote in the Manual of Style regarding en dashes.[edit]

Interested parties are invited to participate: Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Proposed_change_.282.29 startswithj (talk) 23:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Image illustrating the different hyphens, en-dashes and em-dashes could be more illustrative[edit]

"The most common versions of the dash are the en dash (–) and the em dash (—), named for the length of a typeface's lower-case n and upper-case M respectively."

Then later in the article: "The widths of en and em dashes have also been specified as being equal to those of the upper-case letters N and M respectively,[8][9] and at other times to the widths of the lower-case letters."

The image should show lowercase n,m and uppercase N M. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 6 July 2014 (UTC) has a good explanation with a good picture. Terrel Shumway (talk) 13:58, 4 August 2016 (UTC)


Deleted 18:06, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Em and en re­fer to units of ty­po­graphic mea­sure­ment, not to the let­ters M and N.[edit]

"Em and en re­fer to units of ty­po­graphic mea­sure­ment, not to the let­ters M and N. In a tra­di­tional metal font, the em was the ver­ti­cal dis­tance from the top of a piece of type to the bot­tom. The en was half the size of the em. Orig­i­nally, the width of the em and en dashes cor­re­sponded to these units. In to­day’s dig­i­tal fonts, they run narrower." [1]

See also: [2]


Terrel Shumway (talk) 13:52, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

The quoted paragraph as written at is misleading because it is too oversimplified, to the point of misstatement. They were trying so hard to explain to a total-novice reader that they created a misapprehension that the one has no relationship whatsoever to the other, which is false. There is in fact a relationship (a fuzzy historical one) between the letters M and N and the measurement units of em and en (and their names). The relationship is touched on in the linked WP section (Em_(typography)#Incorrect_and_alternative_definitions). And Words Into Type, third edition, one of the blue-chip references in typography (and thus one of the R-est of WP:RSs on this subject), makes clear that it exists (pp. 498, 501–502, 539). I agree that Wikipedia should explain it better. Not even Words Into Type explains it well enough; for example, it uses the phrase "the square of" in a nonmathematical way, falsely implying that an em would be (solely) a unit of surface area (which is not accurate). Still, it makes clear that a relationship exists. Quercus solaris (talk) 14:22, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

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Usage statistics[edit]

Most people use the minus sign: (-) as a dash sign: [ a. short dash: (–), b. long dash (—) ] inbetween words. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:582:5821:E400:6DE0:C7C1:3118:3720 (talk) 12:59, 9 June 2017 (UTC)