The dash is a family of punctuation marks which are not part of a word, but resemble long hyphens in appearance.

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Is the usage of this semicolon correct? Should I replace it with a colon or dash?

I am getting ready to have my first tattoo and, as a fairly strict grammarian, I want to make sure that I get it right. I plan for the tattoo to look like the following, but I'm not totally sure about ...
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2answers
68 views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
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1answer
28 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
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1answer
57k views

When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?

I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen instead of an em-dash?
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3answers
5k views

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is ...
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1answer
21 views

Is this list punctuated correctly?

I am in the process of writing my CV/Resume and want to list my skills with a brief explanation of how I learnt them. So far I have been using: Marketing Experience - Gained from owning a small ...
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1answer
42 views

Punctuate a clause-example-clause-example in a sentence

I'm proofreading a colleagues work, and ran across a sentence which contains two examples with clarifications. I do not believe this should be broken out into two sentences. The original (nouns ...
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1answer
105 views

Can em dashes be used to isolate clauses starting with an “or”?

Here’s a simplified version of the sentence I'm working on. Despite what he believed — or thought he believed — he still had to contend with the truth. Or should I use commas?
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1answer
102 views

En dash with compound adjectives (problem)

I frequently encounter cases, such as the ones below, where you seemingly have two hyphenated compound adjectives modifying a noun. I know that in such cases that you should join the compound ...
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1answer
66 views

Use of the en dash instead of the hyphen in compound adjectives

I have the following taken from a paper that I am editing: … proposed a water-filling factor aided search method to solve … My question is related to whether I should use an en dash to connect ...
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1answer
65 views

Is there a dash between “n-second” [duplicate]

Take the example "one-second interval". Is there a dash between "one" and "second"? Also, should second be plural if I say "three-second/s interval"?
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1answer
145 views

Function of Dashes in a Sentence

Today any accessible, fast-moving story written in unaffected prose is deemed to be "genre fiction"—at best an excellent "read" or a "page turner," but never literature with a capital L. I cant ...
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suspended hyphen usage [duplicate]

I am writing my master's thesis and I use the words 'read set' and 'write set'. Do I write those like 'read-set' and can I write: read- and write-set? Thanks, Flo
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3answers
131 views

Can a dash work after a question mark?

Can a dash work after a question mark? Meaning is this sentence correct and if not how would you rewrite it? I am wondering if you know any publications, blogs or websites who are seeking new ...
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1answer
164 views

Hyphenation of a phrasal attributive with an open compound: “A B to C noun”

I'm wondering how to properly hyphenate (or en-dash) the following phrase: fiber optic to BNC converter That is to say, a device that converts "fiber optic" to BNC. If it didn't contain an open ...
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1answer
33 views

Overall structure, dashes and commas

The following sentence comes to me a bit intricate: The ultimate responsibility still rests in the hands of Internet users who vote – they, along with the officials elected to serve them, make up ...
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2answers
78 views

Punctuating “waste not, want not”

How do you punctuate a sentence to indicate that the second phrase is contingent on the first, e.g. Waste not, want not? You could read this typical punctuation as meaning "waste not and want not" ...
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4answers
56 views

In my example, is there a clever way to remove the dashes?

This raises concerns because people who are 21 years-old and are now legally able to drink — but were born before the 15th of the month of their 21st birthday — will not be accounted for.
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1answer
38 views

Semicolon used within dashes: Making sense of “England in 1819”

I'm trying to analyse Shelley's "England in 1819", but I'm having trouble with a certain passage which features a semicolon within two dashes. I find this quite confusing, and,therefore, I'm not sure ...
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4answers
134 views

Em-dash vs colon: “Remind me: what's your name again?” or “Remind me—what's your name again?”

I have a sentence (and other sentences like it) in which I'm not sure what punctuation to use. Remind me—what's your name again? Remind me: what's your name again? Or is there something else ...
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2answers
112 views

Place interrogation mark within question with “dashed”-comment

I'm trying to figure out where should I place an iterrogation mark in the sentence below. First, what I want to say: Does X mean X, or does it mean Y? As we talked before about X meaning Y. And ...
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7answers
3k views

Em dash vs semicolon: which is more appropriate in the following examples?

I am very confused by these, and even when I understand other people's usage of them I find it difficult to know when to employ them myself. For this reason, I am trying to make my own examples and ...
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3answers
82 views

Punctuation of a dependent clause for strong emphasis

Which of the sentences below is correct if I want to strongly emphasize that the pencil is not is not white? This is a black instead of a white pencil. This is a black, instead of a white, ...
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1answer
112 views

Should the first word after a dash used as self-interruption be capitalized?

When writing dialogue, a dash can be used to denote interruption. For example: “Hello, can I ask you about—” “No.” If a character is interrupting themself, should the first word of the ...
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1answer
93 views

Can a dash be used in this instance?

I would like to confirm the use of a dash in this sentence: My name is Mat, I am a Bristol based designer in the UK - I forge digital art, illustrations & websites Is this the proper use ...
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2answers
116 views

Comma and dash introducing a list

Is it right to put a comma before the dash that introduces a series? As the mentor of the original five interns, — Meredith, Cristina, Alex, the runaway Izzie, and the now dead George — Dr. ...
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4answers
313 views

Difference between using a “-” and a “,” in a sentence

I have noticed that some native english speakers use the "-" sign to explain some additional things in a sentence: eg Sophie is going to the shop - which happened to be around the corner - to ...
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1answer
125 views

The grammar restriction of dash and parentheses

This is a follow-up to my previous question. The answerer mentioned that when parentheses are used for inserting contents in a sentence, the grammar flexibility is assumed to be higher. If that is ...
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2answers
601 views

How is punctuation used after dashes?

I use em dashes frequently to break up random or ancillary thoughts in my writing. However, I'm uncertain how to deal with punctuation after an em dash when my sentence continues. For example, which ...
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1answer
1k views

em dash followed by a comma [duplicate]

I have three cars — blue, red, and green — , two motorcycles, and four bicycles. Is this a correct use of comma after an em-dash? It seems quite weird. How should I use an em-dash and ...
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2answers
2k views

When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
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1answer
120 views

dash non-restrictive element in the middle of a sentence

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21588069-scientific-research-has-changed-world-now-it-needs-change-itself-how-science-goes-wrong Even when flawed research does not put people’s lives at ...
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1answer
174 views

Is an en dash before 'which' proper punctuation?

In this sentence In conclusion, the reading claims that minimum wage is harmful to the companies, which the lecturer contradicts by providing three points –which form a compelling argument, to ...
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11k views

Appropriate dash to use when attributing a quotation?

If I’m citing a poem or quotation, what kind of dash precedes the author’s name? Example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted. . . .           ...
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What is the correct punctuation for this sentence? [duplicate]

Yet I cannot remain in these moments for very long without being reminded of nature's harsh and unforgiving side; I think about fording a raging glacial river in Denali National Park in Alaska and ...
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3answers
356 views

Is “non-freedom” correct?

I need to write something like Students were silenced because of social media posts: a case of non-freedom. That isn't the exact context, but I need to know if non-freedom is correct.
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2answers
166 views

Is it proper to use dashes to set of parenthetical phrases in a comma-separated list?

I'm in need of a complex sentence that lists out three requirements, and the facts that satisfy those requirements. Here's an example of what I'm referring to, using the "motivation, means, and ...
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2answers
145 views

Semicolon followed by an em-dash

I recently read "The Cask of Amontillado" for pleasure, and I found this passage: He had a weak point –this Fortunato –although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it wrong to space en dashes and em dashes?

How I use en dashes and em dashes En dashes: Sybrand Engelbrecht (1814–2177): Unspaced en dash. January–December: Unspaced en dash. Sybrand loved three things – soccer, jazz, and living forever ...
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2answers
177 views

dash to connect two thoughts

How can I use a dash to correctly connect two and thoughts in a sentence? Is the following sentence correct with the dash in from or should I remove it? An S database allows access from – and can ...
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1answer
195 views

Approximating Fancy Punctuation

Is it ever okay (or acceptable in modern casual usage) to approximate an ellipse glyph '…' with three full-stops '...' or spaced full-stops '. . .'? The textbooks say you shouldn't, ...
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1answer
357 views

Using dashes vs. commas in business communications

Having settled into a new job in communications, I am faced with the issue of em dashes. Since I am quite partial to commas but my boss is more partial to em dashes, I can't help but wonder whether ...
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1answer
353 views

Em dash or colon in formal writing

In formal writing, should I use an em dash The Earth consists of three layers — crust, mantle, and core. or a colon The Earth consists of three layers: crust, mantle, and core. ?
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2answers
28k views

How to write “till now” in a résumé? [closed]

I am writing a résumé. I want to specify that I started my education in 2009 and as of now I am at the 4th grade (in other words, still learning), so how should I specify that in résumé: 2009 - ...
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2answers
388 views

Should you use en dashes in acronyms?

For terms like liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry that typically use an en dash rather than a hyphen, would an en dash still be used in the acronym, LC–MS? Or would we only need a hyphen there, ...
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2answers
265 views

punctuation of “damned if you do and damned if you don't” [duplicate]

Personally, I think quotes are best, but lately, I'm hearing that quotes are incorrect and dashes should be used between the words. What say you? damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't or ...
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2answers
142 views

Asymmetric spacing of dashes in interpolated phrases

I have come across a dash-spacing style that I haven't seen anywhere else, and I'm wondering where it may come from. The person who writes in this style asserts that he has learnt it in school in the ...
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2answers
295 views

How should I parse a sentence that’s broken up with a dash?

What is the correct "parsing" of this sentence: Futuristic but not out of time — like an artifact from the 1960’s, someone trying to imagine what 2013 would be like. I came to two ...
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5answers
17k views

Should I use a semicolon or a dash to connect two closely related sentences?

When you want to connect two closely related sentences, you can use a semicolon or a dash. (You can also use a dash for other kinds of non-sentential relations). How would you choose whether to use a ...
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1answer
2k views

The usage of en dash between two complete dates

Is it necessary to put a space before and after the symbol en dash (–) put between two complete dates? Example: January 1, 2013 – January 1, 2014