subtraction is giving me a syntax error

Steven D'Aprano steven at
Tue Mar 16 08:47:45 CET 2010

On Mon, 15 Mar 2010 22:56:19 +0000, Grant Edwards wrote:

> On 2010-03-15, Steven D'Aprano <steve at>
> wrote:
>> On Mon, 15 Mar 2010 18:09:29 +0000, Grant Edwards wrote:
>>>> Delete the character between "y_diff" and "H" and replace it with a
>>>> plain ASCII subtraction sign.
>>> I think somebody needs to stop editing his code with MS Word and start
>>> using a programming editor. ;)
>> I've had this error myself, and I've never used Word to edit code. It
>> can happen if you copy code from a website that "helpfully" converts
>> hyphens to en-dashes, spaces to non-breaking spaces, or inserts ctrl-Z
>> characters into strings, etc. They're a devil to debug.
> Though it may not be Microsoft Word, I think I'd still maintain that an
> editor where you can't see a ctrl-Z or tell the difference between an
> ASCII minus and a windows-codepage-whatever isn't a very good
> programmer's editor.

Regarding ctrl-Z (or for that matter other control characters), I agree 
it's a lack.

As for not being able to see the difference between a hyphen and an EN-
dash, or minus sign, or whatever it is, yes but they are very similar 
looking glyphs in virtually ever modern font. It would take a good eye to 
see the difference between (say) ‐ ‑ and -.


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