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Hyphen-minus
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The hyphen-minus ( -) is a character used in digital documents and computing to represent a (‐) or a minus sign (−).

(2018). 9780596101213, O'Reilly. .

It is present in as ; it is also in with the same value.


Description
The use of a single character for both hyphen and minus was a compromise made in the early days of fixed-width and . However, in proper and graphic design, there are distinct characters for , , and the . Usage of the hyphen-minus nonetheless persists in many contexts, as it is well-known, easy to enter on keyboards, and in the same location in all common character sets.

Most programming languages, restricting themselves to 7-bit , use the hyphen-minus, rather than the Unicode character , for denoting subtraction and negative numbers.


Other uses
On typewriters, it was conventional to use a pair of hyphens to represent an , and this convention is still sometimes used in computer text.

The hyphen-minus is often used to represent an , which may be used to indicate:

  • Ranges, such as a time range of "2000–2004".
  • Connection or direction, as in "The Los Angeles–London flight".
  • Compound adjectives, when there is already a hyphenated compound present, as in "He submitted his manuscript to an e-book–only publisher".

The en dash is normally longer (the width of a letter "n") than a hyphen, though in a fixed-pitch or typewriter font there is no difference. The hyphen connects closely, the en dash less closely, while the em dash (the width of a letter "m") separates.

The minus sign is nominally the same width as the plus sign, longer than a hyphen; an en dash, being closer to the right length, is sometimes preferred over the hyphen-minus to represent a minus sign when the Unicode minus is not available.

(2018). 9781456819408, Xlibris. .


See also

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