Double em-dash in TeX

Jane Austen uses double em-dashes at times. The naive approach I tried in TeX at first— consisting of two consecutive em-dashes—leaves a small but visible amount of whitespace.

A bit of Googling turned up a 1994 comp.text.tex post from Donald Arseneau (who, in addition to being a TeX-nician is also a Tcl'er!) that gave a satisfactory solution:

\mbox{---\kern-1pt---}\penalty\exhyphenpenalty

—Michael A. Cleverly

Comments:

  1. John Cowan wrote (at Sun, 03 Feb 2008, 19:08):

In a Unicode-enabled TeX, you can use U+2015 HORIZONTAL BAR, whose alternative name is "quotation dash". This character is frequently used in Western European fiction and in some modern English-language fiction, notably the works of James Joyce.

  1. John wrote (at Thu, 19 Mar 2009, 16:47):

Actually this is different, and indicates an abrupt breaking off of speech.

Thanks for the tip! I used \newcommand{\dmd}{{{---\kern-0.8pt---}\penalty\exhyphenpenalty}}

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