Originally Posted by bowerbird
dale, i'm not sure i understand your point. got any examples?
For example dialogs often attempt to indicate pauses and interruptions. In some cases this is done with a dash symbol. In the recent biography of Buffalo Bill that I just posted the source used hyphens for everything. In some cases I have seen pg books with double hyphens which is easy to deal with but in this book only single hyphens were used everywhere. The book was a mess of real hyphens needed for compound words and hyphens used when a dash was needed. I had to manually find every instance and make a decision in each case. In formatting a hyphen will hyphenate at the end of a line but a dash typically will not, causing ugly breaks in the text flow.
Other dialog problems include accent marks and trying to show dialects in the text. These are tough with a full font collection and are made much more difficult using only ascii characters. Bold, italics and special symbols get lost in translation to ascii. Surely you have noticed this.
Many period books use unusual spelling and other specialized but unusual constructions with foreign words that can fool spell checkers requiring intervention that seems not to get done in the process.