Quote of the Month

Quote of the Month
Quote of the Month: July 2017

Hyphens and Dashes

Most people don't know the difference between a hyphen and a dash. Further more people don't seem to know there are two different types of dashes: em and en, which means they have even less of an idea how to use them. I myself was one of these people not long ago, and recently discovered the accurate way to use these tools. If you find yourself asking what these are, here's your easy guide to hyphens and dashes.

Hyphens:

These are used for separating words:
  • she was 30 years-old 
  • he was a two-timer
They're also used to separate numbers:
  • The address was twelve-forty-two S Ave.
  • He was forty-two

And to spell out words:
  • "Apple," she repeated at the spelling bee. "A-P-P-L-EApple."

En Dash:

"The en dash connects things that are related to each other by distance, as in the May–September issue of a magazine.... En dashes specify any kind of range, which is why they properly appear in indexes when a range of pages is cited (e.g., 147–48). En dashes are also used to connect a prefix to a proper open compound: for example, pre–World War II. In that example, 'pre' is connected to the open compound 'World War II'" (from The Chicago Manual of Style Online).

Visit: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/dam/jcr:a99f4e58-525d-4006-9b64-4c4e8f24c3a8/cmos-linkgraphic.gif for more info.

A good way to remember the difference between the en dash versus the em dash is a little saying I use: The letter 'n' is just a shorter version of the letter 'm' and thus the en dash is a shorter version of the em dash.

Em Dash:

I’ve always struggled with writing grammar and punctuation. Almost all the uses of the em-dash are second nature to me, however I’ve never been able to find an accurate use of the em-dash when interrupting a quote with an action. I’ve spent lots of timer researching this but it’s hard to find a straight answer on the internet. Many sites counteract each other, or they don’t have this specific information. But finally I found my answer in “Spirit Walk: Walk of the Spirits” by Richie Tankersley Cusick.

“Well”—Miranda drew a deep breath—“I wasn’t okay just a few minutes ago. But I think I am now” (pg 274).

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So that's the difference between hyphens and the two different forms of dashes.
Hope this was useful!

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