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I’m hoping someone can give me some feedback/advice on the dash below.

The site also supports a mobile version that allows you to easily check whether a book is in your collection—a feature inspired after purchasing already-owned books one too many times.

I guess I could also split this into two sentences.

The site also supports a mobile version that allows you to easily check whether a book is in your collection. This feature was inspired after purchasing already-owned books one too many times.

Is the first version is correct, and if so, is it preferable to the second?

This link makes me think it's correct, but I thought I'd ask the community; I always seem to get fantastic feedback here.

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I would suggest just replacing the dash with a comma. Oh, and I think you mean a mobile version that allows rather than a mobile version which allows. –  snumpy Jun 13 '11 at 14:16
    
@snumpy - thank you :) –  Adam Rackis Jun 13 '11 at 14:23

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

The first version is correct. You've used a dash to separate the appositive from the main sentence, which is acceptable. Usually, this is considered better than the second version; one independent clause is better than two, stylistically speaking. I myself would probably have used a comma instead of a dash, since I think commas give a much nicer flow.

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Andrew, is my understanding correct that an appositive can be offset with either a comma or a dash, and that a comma is usually only used for very small appositives, such as: "Andrew, a brilliant English teacher, will be at the party." I opted for the dash above because I thought it was a bit much for a comma –  Adam Rackis Jun 13 '11 at 14:27
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Yes, that's the way of it; it can be either commas or dashes. Dashes are more frequent when you're going for effect; it's almost like a quick drum roll before the punch line. That's how I feel about them, anyway. –  Andrew Jun 13 '11 at 14:34
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It's a matter of taste, to be sure, but I'm leaning toward the dash because this is catch copy. We're trumpeting a new feature here, we're excited, we've solved a user problem, so the urgency and fortississimo of the dash seem appropriate. –  The Raven Jun 13 '11 at 15:20

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