We deprecate your punctuation

For the last twenty years or so, I’ve been rendering the em-dash (and the occasional en-dash) with — mostly because I could never remember how to spell the damned entities. (And typical usage around here has spaces around the dash, which is neither technically nor typographically correct.)

WordPress, as of version 4.3, has decided that I will no longer get away with —. It’s converting that string on the fly to —, which is a correct em-dash in Unicode, and it displays the way I want it to display. Only thing is: now I wonder what else WP is doing behind the scenes.


  1. McGehee »

    20 August 2015 · 5:31 pm

    All these years I’ve been using space-hyphen-hyphen-space — which some parsing engines render as a “correct” em-dash—and others don’t. In fact I started using my habitual variant because it was usually converted on the fly.

    And I see in the preview that two consecutive hyphens do get em-dashed on the fly, but apparently only if I include spaces (the spaceless em-dash above was created using the 8212 entity; I previewed the spaceless double hyphen and got a spaced en-dash).

    Guess I’ll stay with my habit…

  2. Dan Tobias »

    21 August 2015 · 9:00 pm

    The numeric reference to 151 has never been valid; that’s a code position in the proprietary Windows character set, not in the Unicode set that is standard for HTML references.

  3. CGHill »

    22 August 2015 · 2:20 am

    It seemed to work in ISO 8859-1. Still, it’s probably just as well that I got away from it.

RSS feed for comments on this post