1 (edited by A.K.Taylor 2019-07-30 01:26:23)

Topic: Hyphen, En dash, and Em dash

One small error or misuse of punctuation can change everything.

While I've always understood the use of the hyphen for combining words, I've never really had the pleasure of knowing how and when to use an en dash and an em dash. Those little buggers have been included in works I've read but I never thought to look up their actual uses or necessity of them in writing until now. And the reason for it all is because I used them for a few spots in my novel and it was pointed out as a misuse, I believe. Either that or the fact that the dashes didn't translate over too well when I posted the work they were used in.

Anyway, here's a little info on these marks for anyone who needs to understand them better as I did.

https://getitwriteonline.com/articles/e … em-dashes/

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Re: Hyphen, En dash, and Em dash

Thanks for that, AK. I have been using an em dash in Word by typing space-hyphen. Word has been converting this to an em dash, but I now see that style books say there should be no space before an em dash. I searched to find out how to make an em dash without spaces and found that pressing Ctrl+Alt and the minus key on the numerical keypad will do it. I don't know about an en dash but have never seen a need to use that one. I suppose it would just be the minus key.

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Re: Hyphen, En dash, and Em dash

I never use space before em dash since I found it in the book "37th mandala" by Marc Laidlaw (1996). I learnt various books written in US or UK to understand how to write prose in English. Ironically, it's necessary to put space before and after em dash in Russian writing. I didn't use en dash ever. I used em dash for addresses and phone numbers.

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Re: Hyphen, En dash, and Em dash

Very useful article! Thanks!