Monthly Archives: August 2014

Punctuation errors in EMA templates: spaces missing

In the Finnish EMA templates there are some mistakes in punctuation. At least the following:
– in the Appendix II (MedDRA frequency convention) no space has been inserted between the angle brackets and digits, although there should be a space: < 1/10 000 would be correct.
– in Appendix III: 25°C and similar expressions: there should be a space after the number and before the degree mark . The correct way of writing is thus 25 °C.

It is very annoying for the translator that such mistakes are present in the templates.  One has to choose: either one writes correctly (and perhaps adds a comment that the template is wrong) or writes according to the template, saves time (no need to write comments) but growls quietly!

Hyphen, en-dash or em-dash between digits?

Using spaces and different punctuation marks in Finnish is not easy. I think most Finns do not even know all the rules; I did not learn all the details at school, although I was good in writing.  Often I have to check a rule in a handbook of orthography.

When writing e.g. “ks. sivut 16–21” (“see pp. 16–21”), in Finnish one should use the en-dash without spaces. The em-dash is not recommended in Finnish.
However, if the en-dash cannot be used, then one can use the hyphen with spaces on both sides:  “ks. sivut 16 – 21“.

And it seems WordPress cannot make a difference in length between the hyphen and the en-dash…!

A hyphen is the shortest, an en-dash is the width of the letter n and an em-dash is the width of the letter m.

The hyphen can be created by Alt +45 on the numerical keyboard; the codes for en-dash and em-dash are Alt +0150 and Alt + 0151, respectively.

A good handbook for finding all the rules is Kielitoimiston oikeinkirjoitusopas.