[texhax] Hyphenation questions

Doug McKenna doug at mathemaesthetics.com
Thu Feb 2 22:31:23 CET 2012

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?

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.


Doug McKenna

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