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Eri thought if there were little people living in it, they would be experiencing earthquakes all the time. Or maybe, they would have been so used to the movement that they'd no longer feel it. They'd just go on with their little lives[...] eating their little meals, going to their little jobs, and spending time with their little families.

What kind of punctuation should I use in the example above? At first I thought I had to use a comma. But I think I'm no longer sure.

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An em-dash or an en-dash might be helpful in such cases:

They'd just go on with their little lives – eating …

or

They'd just go on with their little lives—eating …

Apart from a pause, it also has the effect of providing a 'directive'. See the Wikipedia page on Dash.

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If eating their little meals, going to their little jobs, and spending time with their little families describes their little lives you're introducing a list so you can use a colon

They'd just go on with their little lives: eating their little meals, going to their little jobs, and spending time with their little families.

  • Yes. A colon if they are seen as points on a list that is introduced by “their little lives”, or a colon if you wish them to be more parallel to “their little lives”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 1 '13 at 12:40
  • @JanusBahsJacquet The following doesn't really apply to this question, hence the suggestion for a colon, however if "going on with their little lives" were also part of the list (i.e. parallel) a comma would be required. "They would just play with their toys: ride their horse and race their car" vs "They would just play with their toys, ride their horse and race their car". – msam Oct 1 '13 at 12:49

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