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Sobend

The em dash

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Does anyone have opinions about whether you should put spaces around the em dash? (—).

E.g., Please contact the administrator—i.e., lilshu—to resolve your IP ban.

OR

Please contact the administrator — i.e., lilshu — to resolve your IP ban.

I know this seems pedantic but I keep getting into fights with people who want to put spaces around them.

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The en dash (–) should use spaces.

The em dash (—) should not use spaces.

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I thought the en dash was for ranges, e.g., I played Runescape from 2005–07. 

So you think em dash and spaces is incorrect? If there's spaces, it should be reduced to en dash?

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Posted (edited)

Hyphenated words use the en dash. For example sixty-nine or ex-wife. I know which one I would choose.

The em dash is useful–especially in place of other punctuation. You can also use it like the en dash – but should you?

 
 
✌
 
Quote

"Publications make varying style choices when it comes to rendering the em dash. Some use the equivalent of three linked hyphens surrounded by a space on each side (like — this), and some omit the surrounding spaces (like—this). Others, like the online New York Times and most non-U.S. publishers, use an en dash (or the equivalent of two hyphens) surrounded by spaces (like — this). Some use an en dash with no spaces (like–this). Others, such as the BBC online, use a hyphen surrounded by spaces (like – this). The hyphen is traditionally regarded as a poor substitute for the dash, but given the relative ease of typing the hyphen, its use in lieu of the dash seems to be on the rise, and many see nothing wrong in it. Ultimately, it is a matter of editorial preference." https://grammarist.com/grammar/emdash/

 

Edited by Fatalysm

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7 minutes ago, Fatalysm said:

Hyphenated words use the en dash.

Hyphenated words use hyphens.

Okay, the above comment is wrong, but I wanted to make it anyway for humorous effect.

In (slight) seriousness, the Chicago Manual of Style says the following, which I've paraphrased:

Em dashes are used for sudden breaks or interruptions like so:

"Will he—can he—obtain the necessary signatures?" asked Mill.

In British English, en dashes are used for the same reason. However, as I've noted above, they should be used with spaces:

"Will he – can he – obtain the necessary signatures?" asked Mill.

There are very few circumstances in which hyphens should be used, unless you're a normal person with a normal keyboard that only has a hyphen character on it and not an en dash or em dash.

There's also a host of other circumstances in which em dashes and en dashes are used—namely, en dashes are used in most situations in which people incorrectly think a hyphen should be used, as correctly noted above—but you guys can pirate your own copy of Chicago Manual of Style to learn about those.

In summary:

1 hour ago, Sobend said:

I thought the en dash was for ranges, e.g., I played Runescape from 2005–07. 

So you think em dash and spaces is incorrect? If there's spaces, it should be reduced to en dash?

yeah man

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Posted (edited)
On 3/24/2020 at 11:01 PM, Guitarguy said:

Hyphenated words use hyphens.

 

  Hide contents

Okay, the above comment is wrong, but I wanted to make it anyway for humorous effect.

In (slight) seriousness, the Chicago Manual of Style says the following, which I've paraphrased:

Em dashes are used for sudden breaks or interruptions like so:

"Will he—can he—obtain the necessary signatures?" asked Mill.

In British English, en dashes are used for the same reason. However, as I've noted above, they should be used with spaces:

"Will he – can he – obtain the necessary signatures?" asked Mill.

There are very few circumstances in which hyphens should be used, unless you're a normal person with a normal keyboard that only has a hyphen character on it and not an en dash or em dash.

There's also a host of other circumstances in which em dashes and en dashes are used—namely, en dashes are used in most situations in which people incorrectly think a hyphen should be used, as correctly noted above—but you guys can pirate your own copy of Chicago Manual of Style to learn about those.

In summary:

yeah man

 

Yet hyphenated words can still be hyphenated with a dash, although quite rightly would generally be used to pause or break up a sentence. Dashes are dumb, I am dumb.

Edited by Fatalysm
It’s not letting me edit humour into my post
  • Haha 1

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Do you have a stylistic preference for spaced en dash or non-spaced em dashes?

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Posted (edited)

I use non-spaced em dashes, because I'm an AMERICAN and I only have em dashes macro'd on my keyboard.

Edited by Guitarguy
6666th POST

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20 hours ago, Sobend said:

Do you have a stylistic preference for spaced en dash or non-spaced em dashes?

I'm gonna break the wheel and make non-spaced followed by spaced - out, followed—on with em dashes spaced — out.

I'm gonna abbreviate all your hyphenations, take your eminem dashes creating explanations. Using grammar like it's all exclamations! Just a bunch of words together to convey my elation.

I am the true king of rap.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Guitarguy said:

I use non-spaced em dashes, because I'm an AMERICAN and I only have em dashes macro'd on my keyboard.

Is there any way you can macro them in without downloading anything? If not, do you have a suggested program?

Edited by Sobend
8659th post awww yisss

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15 hours ago, Sobend said:

Is there any way you can macro them in without downloading anything? If not, do you have a suggested program?

Apparently, on Windows, an en dash is Alt + 0150 and an em dash is Alt + 0151.

I will dedicate this vital information to my mind forever.

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1 hour ago, Guitarguy said:

Apparently, on Windows, an en dash is Alt + 0150 and an em dash is Alt + 0151. 

I will dedicate this vital information to my mind forever. 

Just tried this here and on Outlook and it didn't work.  I think it only works on Word.  Even when I try it on word I have something for alt+0 (it apparently opens Endnote). 

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2 hours ago, Sobend said:

Just tried this here and on Outlook and it didn't work.  I think it only works on Word.  Even when I try it on word I have something for alt+0 (it apparently opens Endnote). 

Really? Make sure you're holding Alt, then press 0 1 5 1, then release Alt. Also, use the numpad, not the stupid numbers at the top of your keyboard.

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Ah—I am an idiot!  I got it now.

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This has been the most productive topic in the history of history.

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Posted (edited)

15 posts 3 posters 1 quarantine.

Edited by Sobend

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