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I came across the following line in a newspaper

Wayne Rooney finally scored his first World Cup goal for England - after 759 minutes, in his third cup and 10th game.

Why is the dash required in the sentence?

If the sentence were written as follows without the dash, what difference would it make?

Wayne Rooney finally scored his first World Cup goal for England after 759 minutes, in his third cup and 10th game.

I do not see any difference, or perhaps I am missing something.

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    Dashes are essentially used to separate one part of an utterance in print to signify that it is parenthetical. Dashes and parentheses can often be swapped, but if you use an open paren, you hafta use a close paren -- which is not the case with dashed material at the end of a sentence. Dashed material represents language pronounced with a somewhat lower (flatted) tone, like most extraneous and presupposed language. – John Lawler Jun 21 '14 at 16:36
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    For starters, that is not a dash. It's a hyphen. Using a hyphen in lieu of a dash is indeed incorrect and plain nonsensical. They might look similar, but so do p, b and q, or O and 0. Completely different things. – RegDwigнt Jun 21 '14 at 17:25
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In an unsearchable and potentially ephemeral comment to the original posting, Professor Lawler kindly presented the following answer:

Dashes are essentially used to separate one part of an utterance in print to signify that it is parenthetical. Dashes and parentheses can often be swapped, but if you use an open paren, you hafta use a close paren — which is not the case with dashed material at the end of a sentence. Dashed material represents language pronounced with a somewhat lower (flatted) tone, like most extraneous and presupposed language.

I’ve marked this posting Community Wiki because it is John’s answer not my own, and so I deserve no reputation from it.

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The difference in the two sentences is a matter not of meaning per se but of aesthetic effect. The version without the dash relates the information in the visual equivalent of a deadpan monotone, whereas the one with the dash (and I presume that the space-hyphen-space punctuation is supposed to correspond to an em dash) interrupts the neutral recitation of facts as if to emphasize the long, long time it took Rooney to achieve his little blip of success. The effect is much as if the author had written the sentence this way:

Wayne Rooney finally scored his first World Cup goal for England, but it took the guy 759 minutes of World Cup play, three cup appearances, and ten games to pull it off.

The reported details haven't changed, but visually the dash interrupts the smooth uninflected flow of data, diverts the reader's attention away from the first eleven words of the recitation, and brings the long period of utter futility prior to the (less than triumphant) breakthrough into isolated focus.

All of that may sound like a pretty tall order for one punctuation mark to pull off, but the dash accomplishes it here.

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