In every page title on tex.sx, it says

TeX - LaTeX - Stack Exchange

These horizontal lines between the words are hyphens (Unicode point U+002D "Hyphen-minus"). In proper typesetting, these should be dashes, either En Dashes (U+02013) "–" or Em Dashes (U+02014) "—". As I would say we're a community who cares about such details and who thus ought to be a role model for them, I'd appreciate to see that changed.

The difference between these three characters is directly reflected in (La)TeX by three distinct inputs, - (Hyphen-minus), -- (En Dash), and --- (Em Dash). A similar issue has been discussed at New user greeting., which now uses an Em Dash:

Welcome to Q&A for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems — check out the FAQ!

I'm not a big fan of the Em Dash, I think it interrupts text flow too strongly; nonetheless we should use dashes uniformly. Has anybody seen any other proper dashes around that would have to be adapted similarly? There are more pseudo-dashes (= Hyphen-Minuses) around here, e.g. after the title of a page, be it a question, "Frequently Asked Questions" or a user page:

Putting a bar in the margin - TeX - LaTeX - Stack Exchange

So if you were asking me, I'd say we should use En Dashes on all occurrences of a dash (except one), with a regular space before and after it. Exception: It might make sense to use an Em Dash between a page title and the site title and En Dashes in the page title, like

Putting a bar in the margin — [= Em Dash] TeX – [= En Dash] LaTeX – [=En Dash] Stack Exchange

This would reflect that there's a bigger "content break" between the first part and the rest than there is between the TeX, LaTeX, and Stack Exchange, but I don't know if that is a typographic no-no according to the one or the other typography bible.

Related questions (this will help with keeping everything consistent and preventing misinformation):

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Bringhurst argues for an en-dash in all of these cases, which would make life easier. –  Joseph Wright Nov 24 '11 at 16:47
    
@JosephWright: Is that "easier than the status quo" or "easier than your recommendation about a combination of En Dahes and one Em Dash"? –  doncherry Nov 24 '11 at 17:49
    
@donchery: Easier than the mixed en- and em-dash suggestion –  Joseph Wright Nov 24 '11 at 17:59
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1 Answer 1

Most web browsers do not, in fact, render HTML typographic entities in the <title> tag. Thus something like

<title>Foo &ndash; bar baz</title>

would show up in the browser as, literally:

Foo &ndash; bar baz

That's why we avoid HTML entity characters in titles for the most part.

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Can the web browsers StackExchange supports deal with Unicode characters in the <title> tag? –  doncherry Jan 21 '12 at 11:34
    
possibly, but it feels a bit hacky versus the proper HTML entity in the HTML –  Jeff Atwood Jan 21 '12 at 11:41
    
So, does this mean status-declined? –  doncherry Feb 3 '12 at 19:25
    
But you are implying that the title properly has an en-dash surrounded by spaces (or without spaces) instead of a hyphen. Could we get official word on the whether there are spaces around or not? This is relevant for How do I properly cite TeX.SE for its help in typesetting?. –  Lover of Structure Feb 28 '13 at 20:08
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Unicode characters aren't "proper HTML"? –  JeffE Mar 1 '13 at 5:43
    
This is not correct, HTML entities work fine inside the title element. What doesn't work is document.title = "&mdash;"; from JavaScript — use the literal Unicode character instead or use \u2014 to encode the character. –  Martin Geisler Nov 11 '13 at 9:52
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