A Dash of Punctuation

Another editor for me to follow

Leslie Hyla Winton Noble

 Dashing from Dashes

– —Dash

I am fond of using dashes in my writing – dash it all, why not?. However, I have tended to become lazy, and to use a hyphen for all purr-pussies. (As in kit-cat?).
As a professional editor, I should be more meticulous. There is a distinct difference between appearance and usage of a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash. Here are the rules for each, and I have resolved to stick to them in future.

The hyphen (-) is found on the top row of the keyboard below the underline. It is used without spaces to join two or more words into one concept such as up-to-date or flower-child.

An en dash (–) has the width of ‘n’; it is obtained by using Ctrl and the minus sign on number keys; and is primarily used to replace the word ‘to’. Examples: Opening…

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8 thoughts on “A Dash of Punctuation

  1. Apparently my computer automatically converts two hypens to a dash, and so I end up using dashes a lot. Too much, probably. I’ve gotten really lazy with punctuation (three periods do not make a proper ellipsis, for example). The only time I go out of my way to find the special character is when the computer insists on putting in a single opening quote instead of an apostrophe, as in ’twas. (I haven’t hit “post” yet, but I’m guessing the font in the post above will not use a proper apostrophe.


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