how to search for hyphenated words? (was: how to search for Morse code?)

Matt Armstrong marmstrong at
Mon Mar 11 17:05:08 PDT 2019

Carl Worth <cworth at> writes:

> Hi Gregor,
> The trick here is that when notmuch is indexing body text it feeds it
> into a Xapian function that parses the text by finding "terms" in the
> text. And this parser considers both punctuation and whitespace as
> separators between terms.

I notice that Xapian supports something called "phrase searches",
documented as:

  "A phrase surrounded with double quotes ("") matches documents
  containing that exact phrase. Hyphenated words are also treated as
  phrases, as are cases such as filenames and email addresses
  (e.g. /etc/passwd or president at"

I assume that this particular Xapian feature is unavailable in notmuch?
If so, I wonder if enabling has ever been considered?

Being able to "drop down" to do things like exact phrase matches is one
reason why I use notmuch, because the precision sometimes matters.  I
currently do this by fetching the mail message itself and using
old-school mail processing tools on the message file.

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