[XeTeX] Hyphenation question

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Sat Oct 14 00:37:38 CEST 2006

On 13 Oct 2006, at 11:14 pm, Peter Dyballa wrote:

> Am 13.10.2006 um 17:13 schrieb <jropers at freesurf.fr>
> <jropers at freesurf.fr>:
>> When I try to put once and for all "l'utili-sation" in an  
>> \hyphenation
>> list, I get an error message "Not a letter".
> It's the ``-´´.

No, sorry, it's not. Putting a hyphen in a \hyphenation{...}  
exception is entirely correct. The error comes from the apostrophe,  
which is indeed "not a letter" in TeX's view.

This is not specific to XeTeX; standard TeX or LaTeX will behave the  
same, unless a package changes the \lccode of the apostrophe  
character. Hyphenation patterns and exceptions can contain only  
characters with non-zero \lccode. And TeX does not attempt to  
hyphenate a "word" that contains embedded non-letters, such as  
explicit hyphens or apostrophes.

If you say


then the apostrophe will be acceptable in a \hyphenation entry. Note,  
however, that this will also change the limits of what TeX considers  
a "word" that can be hyphenated, and this could lead to bad breaks  
elsewhere, unless the patterns in use were designed with this in  
mind. So be wary.


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