Example of Hard Coded Hyphenation Using Soft Hyphens. Resize window to see text reflow with hyphenation preserved. Zooming larger or smaller will also reflow the text.
Excerpt is from Revising Prose, by Richard Lanham.


With the elec­tron­ic word, au­thor­ity dif­fuses it­self between writer and read­er. Al­though we sel­dom think of it in this way, the print me­di­um is fun­da­ment­ally au­thor­it­ari­an. “In print” means un­change­able. You can't quar­rel with it. This pen­um­bra of au­thor­ity goes back a long way. The Renais­sance hu­man­ists re­sur­rec­ted the au­thor­ity of clas­sic­al Greek and Lat­in cul­ture by edit­ing that cul­ture’s doc­u­ments in­to fixed prin­ted texts. The au­thor­it­at­ive edi­tion means the un­chan­ging edi­tion, text fixed forever, a lode­stone of cul­tur­al au­thor­ity. We still feel that way about print. It fixes things.

Elec­tron­ic text un­fixes them. It is by nature change­able, anti-au­thor­it­ari­an. If we don't like what it says, we can change it, or­na­ment it, re­vise it, erase it, mock it in let­ters in­dis­tin­guish­able from the ori­gin­al ones. Pat­terns of au­thor­ity have shif­ted, be­come demo­crat­ized. This demo­crat­iz­a­tion means that the elec­tron­ic word will mean something quite dif­fer­ent from the prin­ted one. Any­one in­ter­ested in writ­ing of any sort must un­der­stand this change.

It op­er­ates, for a start, upon the role the writer ad­opts as a writer. When we write we in­ev­it­ably ad­opt a so­cial role of some sort. A present­a­tion of self. Surely all of us have no­ticed that the self we ad­opt in com­puter com­mu­nic­a­tion, es­pe­cially on­line and, to a less­er de­gree in e-mail, dif­fers from our "print" self. For reas­ons I leave to the psy­cho­lo­gists, com­puters have from their be­gin­nings evoked the game and play ranges of hu­man mo­tiv­a­tion far more strongly than print has. “Hack­er”, be­fore it be­came a syn­onym for com­puter van­dal, used to be an in­no­cent word, used to de­scribe kids who liked to play around with com­puters just for the fun of it, to do something just to see if it could be done. This ori­gin­al hack­er men­tal­ity in­ev­it­ably creeps in whenev­er we put our fin­gers on the com­puter's home row: We hold lan­guage more lightly in our hands; our sense of hu­mor stands closer; we can’t take things, or ourselves, so ser­i­ously.

A good pre­dis­pos­i­tion this turns out to be. The "dig­nity of print" has a lot to an­swer for. Let's hope that the elec­tron­ic word pre­serves the muse of com­edy that has hovered around its cre­ation. Blog prose seems to sug­gest that it has. At all events, it is something to be alert to if you are writ­ing and re­vis­ing prose in an elec­tron­ic world. It has cre­ated a new com­mu­nic­a­tions de­cor­um.