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I've searched everywhere before asking this question but I couldn't find an answer to my specific question:

"In spite of all the problems in life—lack of education, poverty, unemployment— John always thinks that his own problems are bigger.

I've just made this sentence so I know it's kinda choppy and misleading. I want to know if the use of em dash here is correct and do I have to put " and " before the last option in the list, which is "unemployment"?

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  • Thanks, Edwin, but I still didn't get a clear answer to my question. Also, I'm having a hard time to understand what you are saying because I'm still learning. – Ghassan Saeed Nov 16 '17 at 4:17
  • Isn't this example (given in the duplicate) 'The solid structure of trees—that is, the dry matter in the roots, stalks, and branches—is about 95 percent carbon and oxygen.' close enough? If not, 'In spite of being smaller than his brothers—Jim, Joe and Jeff—John always enjoyed racing against them.' and 'In spite of being smaller than his many brothers (Jim, Joe, Jeff, Jed ...) John always enjoyed racing against them.' are fine. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 16 '17 at 10:17
  • 100% clear. Thank you so much, Edwin! – Ghassan Saeed Nov 16 '17 at 16:58
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    You've forced me into using the em-dash; I almost always stick with the en-dash (I just think it looks better). – Edwin Ashworth Nov 16 '17 at 17:10