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I usually use parenthesis to add a sort of explanatory sentence in a passage... you know, the typical use (like this, for example). But then, I have seen in articles, and some other places I can't recall now, people using hyphens instead of or sometimes interchangeably with the parenthesis -doing something like this-.

So, is one of them correct and the other correct? Are they equally valid? Or is it just the editor choice?

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Parentheses are better if you don't know for sure how your text will be typeset and rendered. They will always come out the way you intended.

If you want to use the dash instead, take a look at this Wikipedia article. It's a fine article of punctuation -- I like it a lot, personally -- and I wish that more text-processing software would let me use it the right way.

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