I'm wondering when are end-of-line hyphens ambiguous?
(D)em hyphens are confusing--specifically, the soft hyphen. In our textbook is reads, "If a hyphen appears only because a line is too short for the whole word, you must mark this 'soft' hyphen for deletion" (24). I'm not sure what the book means by a line being "too short." I thought the rule was only use a soft hypen on a word if a sentence is too long to hold that word; thus, the word would be separated at a suitable syllable cut off. Do they mean too little space in the line? At any rate, if in the manscript there is a soft hyphen, doesn't the type-setter know it's a hypenated word?
In the other source given to use in class it states, "Hyphens appearing when dashes should be used-except double hyphens representing an em dash--should always be marked; otherwise a hyphen may be used between continuing numbers like 15-18 or may confusingly be used to set off parenthetical matter. Whenever it is ambigious or likely to confuse the typesetter an end-of-line hyphen should be underlined or crossed out so that the type-setter will know whether to retain the hyphen in the line or close up the word" (How an Editor Marks a Manuscript). Do you underline to retain the hyphen? I understand all of this is to help the type-setter, but I'm wondering if there is a difference between the font or size of the text on the paper the type-setter is reading and the way it is created in a computer document so that the hyphen would not be needed as the word is inputed? Is that why the soft hyphen should be deleted?
I know it is a small matter, but could someone clear it up for me?