# [XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly community

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Sun Oct 24 20:53:23 CEST 2010

Hmm.  I would say that straightforward application of the old rules yields what still seems to me to be the best (and fairly obvious) set of choices:

bio-gra-phy
bio-gra-phi-cal

Viz.:  break at clear etymological divisions and otherwise take over consonants (treating ph as consonant, of course).  (With a few more items such as -ing, -able regarded as separable, and a good deal of uncertainty over 'r' in particular:  probably char-ac-ter rather than cha-rac-ter, though of course Greek would have no qualms about breaking after the first vowel [while in fact taking over 'kt'!].

Many more criteria and parameters seem to have been fed into the mix in the meantime, but I have never been able to appreciate the advantages which the authors of the changes presumably thought they were bringing about with their innovations.

John

----- Original Message -----
From: Dominik Wujastyk
To: Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms
Sent: 24 October 2010 19:16
Subject: Re: [XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly community

Here's what TeX does with "biography" and "biographical" (using \showhyphens).  The first item is the result with British English hyphenation patterns loaded.  The second is with the USA patterns loaded (ugh!).

1.. Underfull \hbox (badness 10000) in paragraph at lines 6--6
[] \OT1/cmr/m/n/10 bio-graphy bio-graph-ical
2.. Underfull \hbox (badness 10000) in paragraph at lines 9--9
[] \OT1/cmr/m/n/10 bi-og-ra-phy bi-o-graph-i-cal

The Oxford Colour Spelling Dictionary is not following the hyphenation points of the words on the 1996 tape we were sent.

Dominik

On 24 October 2010 09:45, John Was <john.was at ntlworld.com> wrote:

I'm afraid the hyphenation rot had set in well before 1996.  Any publisher that can list bio|graph|ic|al and biog|raphy in adjacent entries to its published dictionary of hyphenation points (The Oxford Colour Spelling Dictionary) clearly needs to be treated with caution on such matters!   (The second two in 'biographical' are marked as less preferable, and I used to dream of a system which would allow ranking of hyphenation points, though it's a pretty immense task; the solitary one in biography' is surely unacceptable.)

The old conventions as delineated in the latest editions of Hart were much safer, allowing much less less leeway for inflexional breaks and for the 'feel' of how words are pronounced nowadays (or however they would like to express it) and sticking to a finite number of quite easily grasped rules that had essentially been in place since the inception of type and (in view of the prevalence of classical learning at that time) are recognizable adaptations of Latin/Greek rules (essentially: take over a single consonant, split a group of consonants, though it isn't that straightforward of course).

John
----- Original Message -----
From: Dominik Wujastyk
To: Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms
Sent: 23 October 2010 17:51
Subject: Re: [XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly community

On 23 October 2010 16:20, John Was <john.was at ntlworld.com> wrote:

[...]

Getting back to TeX-related matters, the hyphenation patterns available in XeTeX (even to 'plain' users like myself) are an enormous help, even if I disagree with the English at frequent points

[...]

Phil Taylor, Graham Toal, and I were involved in making the British English hyphenation patterns for TeX.  They were based on a really good tape of UK-English-hyphenated words supplied to me by OUP themselves in 1996 (with full permissions to release the results to the TeX community).  When you say you disagree with the English break points quite often, are you using the US or the UK patterns?  They're very, very different.

It's hard to get good public info on British English hyphenation.  American dictionaries routinely include hyphenation points, but British one's routinely don't. The OUP tape was a godsend.

Dominik

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