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Is the sentence "It is not enough that I should succeed – others should fail" correct? I mainly wonder about the dash. Should it be a comma instead?

Does anything else need to be changed?

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AmE

Well, it should have a period at the end. (Or if you'd rather, an exclamation point!)

As for the hyphen: use whatever you please. You can find someone here to defend whatever symbol and spacing you use, and to quote a reputable style guide to back them up.

So I could give advice on this, but it seems to raise tempers here. Let's just say that if you're confused, you're in good company.

If you are able, on your device, to create an em-dash, you could use an em-dash.

If you are able to create an en-dash, you could use an en-dash.

If you are able to create hair spaces, you could use hair spaces.

If you have a style guide you prefer to follow, you could follow that style guide.

If you are able to ignore all the advice you read here about hyphens and dashes, you might be better off.

IAMOS (It's a matter of style). In other words, POB.

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  • So "It is not enough that I should succeed-others should fail." would be correct? And what is AP style? Does "not required" mean that it is allowed (but leaving it out is also allowed)? – Dasherman Mar 17 '15 at 8:57
  • I should have said "spaces should not be used, unless you are following AP (Associated Press) style, in which case they must be used. Have you had any luck producing an actual em-dash? – Brian Hitchcock Mar 17 '15 at 9:33
  • @BrianHitchcock - Why wouldn't you use an ellipsis ("It is not enough that I should succeed... Others should fail." ) to indicate a pregnant pause, (does anyone say that anymore?) and why isn't it 2 sentences? – Oldbag Mar 17 '15 at 10:02
  • I've replaced the hyphen in OP with an en-dash copied and pasted from a comment here. It's as acceptable as an em-dash here and I far prefer how it looks (when surrounded by a pair of spaces). We should not promote one preferred style at the expense of others on ELU, giving the impression that that's more kosher. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 17 '15 at 10:05
  • @Oldbag Preferences, preferences. I'd go with the ellipsis, but probably a single sentence. Unless I didn't want the pregnant pause, when I'd toss a coin to decide between a colon and a semicolon. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 17 '15 at 10:07

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