I saw - I think at least a few times now - authors separating sections of a story with


or something similar. What does that mean? Is it an acronym for something, or just some odd artistic liberty?

1 Answer 1


I think you hit a utf8 error. I have seen cases where the author will select some fancy character because they want something prettier than a horizontal rule, and because the character is not part of the expected characters for the software tools in the workflow garbage is produced. I could give you the full technical details, but you probably don't care.

Bottom line think of it as a botched horizontal rule, and try not to repeat the mistake.

  • Hex only runs up to F. How could " M C" be in utf8?
    – Mussri
    Nov 18, 2013 at 15:08
  • 2
    utf8 is a multibyte encoding for characters greater than 255 decimal hex doesn't necessarily apply. In general a typical utf8 error occurs when you have a producer put out a sequence if bytes to represent a single character, and a consumer which interprets each byte as a separate character
    – hildred
    Nov 18, 2013 at 19:31

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