In one of the tables of a paper, I used a hyphen to indicate the repetition of the value in a cell into the one below.
Here is an (ugly) example:

│        ║     id     │       species       │
│ crab   ║ C#01       │ Cancer borealis     │
│        ║ C#02       │ -                   │
│        ║ C#03       │ -                   │
│        ║            │                     │
│ shrimp ║ S#01       │ Lysmata amboinensis │
│        ║ S#02       │ Stenopus hispidus   │
│        ║ S#03       │ Lysmata amboinensis │

Here, hyphens mean that C#02 and C#03 are of the same species as C#01 (Cancer borealis)

Unfortunately, the editor refused this formatting because in tables hyphens usually stand for missing values.

So my question is: would there be a more appropriate, standard symbol for vertical repetition in a table?

  • 2
    The normal symbol is "ditto marks" - which, for most modern computing/typing purposes are identical to 'double quote' marks: ". Personally, I would use either the word "ditto" or "as above". I would agree with your editor that the hyphens/dashes are inappropriate and usually mean "no value". – TrevorD Jul 6 '16 at 13:05
  • This is not a question about the English language. This belongs to math.stackexchange.com or mathoverflow.net – Mari-Lou A Jul 7 '16 at 7:33
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about the English language but about symbols used in mathematics or computing. – Mari-Lou A Jul 7 '16 at 7:35

The ditto mark, (also known as double quotation marks) would seem appropriate

The ditto mark (〃)1 is a typographic symbol indicating that the word(s) or figure(s) above it are to be repeated.



I would like to add that, apart from the "Ditto" and ditto mark ("), "Do" is also used to signify that the value of a particular field is same as that of the preceding field.

"Do" perhaps refers to abbreviated form of "Ditto".

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