documenting subtraction

Chris Good chris.good at
Sat Nov 26 18:14:32 EST 2016

From: John Ralls [mailto:jralls at] 
Sent: Saturday, 26 November 2016 2:55 PM
To: Chris Good <chris.good at>
Cc: GnuCash Developers <gnucash-devel at>
Subject: Re: documenting subtraction



On Nov 25, 2016, at 6:09 PM, Chris Good <chris.good at <mailto:chris.good at> > wrote:


Hi John,


The punctuation guide [1] you kindly pointed me too recently does not mention using hyphens in mathematical formulas AFAICS.

In the guide selling section is uses:


and I would like to change that to

GROSS_SALE - TOTALBUY – COMMISSION   (spaces around hyphen)







Yeah, punctuation generally means "natural language" rather than "math" (or "maths" if you prefer). I do think it's normal in typesetting formulae to have spaces around operators and I agree that it makes the formula more readable in this case.


BUT don't use the text you used here: There's an en-dash (U+2013) between TOTALBUY and COMMISSION.


As I've told you before, the typographically correct symbol to use is − (U+2212, −)) but the ASCII hyphen-minus - (U+002d) that you used between GROSS_SALE and TOTALBUY is commonly used and is fine. Whichever you use should be the same at least on the whole page.



John Ralls




Darn, I fell afoul of Outlook autocorrect and autoformat options again. I’m sure I had already fixed those…

Why it changed one but not the other I’ve got no idea.


I’ve done a little searching on the internet - very interesting.

I’ll change these uses to −.



Chris Good

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