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Old 08-12-2009, 08:00 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
To hyphenate or not? Generally I hate hyphenation and only hyphenate if all else fails.
Without hyphenation good typographic color is not possible, and large word spaces (especially patterns of them) make text hard to read.

Hyphens, on the other hand, pass without notice most of the time — so long as they do not mislead the reader (the notorious the-rapist sort of thing).

Hyphen counting is really a trick: it is easier to teach people to count the number of hyphens in a row than to ask them to assess the evenness of spacing within the column (or at least in the paragraph) and then decide whether 3 or even 4 consecutive hyphens would be preferable to big spaces between words.

There is a way to have it both ways, but it means you may need to re-adjust dozens of lines before the area with “too many” hyphens, which is rarely cost-effective — especially as, in the end, a hyphen is much less obnoxious than badly spaced type.

[ You inadvertently triggered one of my pet peeves. ]

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