14

In the answers to this question, people recommend using the "babel shorthand" command "| to break the ligature in the word shelfful. Am I doing this wrong or is this command no longer available in babel? (I cannot find a mention of it in the documentation.)

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[american]{babel}
\begin{document}
shelf"|ful {shelf}ful shelf{}ful shelf\/ful
\end{document}

enter image description here

12

You have to add the german shorthands, which knows several "-shorthands:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[ngerman,american]{babel}% american still active at \begin{document}
\useshorthands{"}
\addto\extrasamerican{\languageshorthands{ngerman}}

\begin{document}
shelfful shelf"|ful {shelf}ful shelf{}ful shelf\/ful
\end{document}

enter image description here

The german shorthands from file ngermanb.ldf:

\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"`}{\glqq}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"'}{\grqq}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"<}{\flqq}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{">}{\frqq}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"-}{\nobreak\-\bbl@allowhyphens}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"|}{%
  \textormath{\penalty\@M\discretionary{-}{}{\kern.03em}%
              \allowhyphens}{}}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{""}{\hskip\z@skip}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"~}{\textormath{\leavevmode\hbox{-}}{-}}
\declare@shorthand{ngerman}{"=}{\penalty\@M-\hskip\z@skip}

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