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The usual TeX convention is that two hyphens in a row generate an en-dash, while three generate an em-dash. Consecutive em or en-dashes appear to form a solid line, although it is formed by distinct characters. However the hyphen does not combine, so if the number of hyphens is a multiple of three or one less than a multiple of three, you get a solid line. ...


Just don't do this. two -- ligature to an n-dash and three --- ligature to an em-dash so if you have a multiple of three - you have a row of em dashses which may or may not have white space between them depending on the font. use a \rule or \hrulefill to make a line.


The package amssymb provides the filled lozenge symbol $\blacklozenge$ similar to the filled diamond.

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