optional hyphens

Mark a hyphenation location

The optional hyphen is usu­ally invis­i­ble. The optional hyphen marks where a word should be hyphen­ated if the word lands at the end of a line. You can put mul­ti­ple optional hyphens in a word.

Why would you want to do this? Some words bedevil hyphen­ation engines. For instance, True­Type will often get hyphen­ated as Tru-eType. To pre­vent this, I put an optional hyphen in the mid­dle (True~Type) so it will be hyphen­ated cor­rectly.

How do you know whether a word won’t be hyphen­ated cor­rectly? The prob­lem usu­ally afflicts words that aren’t in a stan­dard hyphen­ation dic­tio­nary, like jar­gon words, unusual proper names, and other words with non­stan­dard spellings, like trade names. As Jus­tice Pot­ter Stew­art might have said, you’ll know it when you see it.