# [texhax] Hyphenation questions

Barbara Beeton bnb at ams.org
Thu Feb 2 23:08:14 CET 2012

```doug mckenna asks:

Question #1

I found an English word that TeX (TeXLive 2010, running LaTeX under
TeXShop on a Mac) wasn't hyphenating correctly (the word was
"swimmingly").  But since TeX goes to some lengths not to hyphenate words
during line-breaking of paragraphs, I found it hard to isolate and test
what was going on.  As opposed to punting by simply adding a
\hyphenate{swim-ming-ly} exception declaration to my document, which of
course worked to solve my immediate problem, but didn't tell me much
about why the word wasn't otherwise being hyphenated right.

Is there a simple macro or testbed file of TeX source code that allows
one to test any specific word (English or otherwise) to see how TeX/LaTeX
would hyphenate it in various circumstances?

simple.  using plain tex from the command line:

tex
**\relax
*\showhyphens{swimmingly}

and yes, that is pretty bad.

i collect bad hyphenations, and publish
addenda to the list periodically in tugboat.
(an installment should appear in the next
issue.)  and whenever an addendum appears
in tugboat, the entire accumulation is
posted to ctan:

http://www.ctan.com/info/digests/tugboat/hyphenex/

(swimmingly is already on the list; has
been for years.)  feel free to send me any
new exceptions that you stumble on, after
checking the existing list.

Question #2

So being of a curious mindset, I tried to understand \patterns, which
admittedly took me off on a tangent.  It seems that when hyphenation
patterns are installed before typesetting begins, duplicates (if any) are
complained about.  But what constitutes a duplicate?  Are the patterns
"mm1" and "mm3" duplicates?  "mm" and "mm1"?  "mm2" and "mm4"?  I ask
because there's some tests for duplicate \patterns in "trip.tex" that I
don't quite understand.  It seems to me that for any given sequence of
characters, whatever hyphenation "counts" (or whatever we call the digits
in a pattern) there are shouldn't affect whether the pattern is a
duplicate or not.

i disclaim any ability to unwind this