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I am reading an article by Bill Keller (The Times). He wrote:

Through the years, The New York Times’s coverage of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican has received sharp criticism from practicing Catholics — including the past eight years that Bill Keller has been the paper’s executive editor.

Why has he used a hyphen (-)?

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closed as not a real question by RegDwigнt Nov 30 '11 at 13:45

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's not a hyphen, it's an n-dash, used to indicate that the following text is closely connected to the earlier text, and adds something that cannot be added to the sentence directly.

Look up "n-dash" for full details of its usage.

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Usually written as "en dash." –  phenry Jul 13 '11 at 22:26
2  
Strictly speaking, he should really be using an em-dash and not an en-dash for this. The em-dash is longer. –  Peter Shor Jul 14 '11 at 0:14
    
I wouldn't use an m-dash, but that's largely personal preference, because using spaced n-dashes makes the text easier on the eye, and therefore easier to read. Note that using an m-dash would be for personal preference, too -- neither usage is either wrong or more correct than the other. –  Mark Wallace Jul 14 '11 at 5:06

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