By comparison, the en dash, with its 1 en width, is in most fonts either a half-em wide[32] A spacing character usually showing a horizontal line below the, Used in programming languages (e.g. In the United Kingdom, the spaced en dash is the house style for certain major publishers, including the Penguin Group, the Cambridge University Press, and Routledge. The French and Indian War (1754–1763) was fought in western Pennsylvania and along the present US–Canada border (Edwards, pp.

The unofficial Golden Age of rock and roll was roughly 1963–1981. Appositives You should use the dash to set off an appositive when commas might cause confusion: 5. 5. The character is called an em dash because it is one em wide, a length that varies depending on the font size. Like any tool, it’s best not to overuse em dashes in our writing. [37] It replaces other quotation marks, and was preferred by authors such as James Joyce:[38], The Walrus and the Carpenter For example, The Elements of Typographic Style by Canadian typographer Robert Bringhurst recommends the spaced en dash – like so – and argues that the length and visual magnitude of an em dash "belongs to the padded and corseted aesthetic of Victorian typography". [44] In running text, various dash conventions are employed: an em dash—like so—or a spaced em dash — like so — or a spaced en dash – like so – can be seen in contemporary publications. When an en dash is unavailable in a particular character encoding environment—as in the ASCII character set—there are some conventional substitutions. Therefore, they’re set apart with em dashes.

[2] The minus sign (−) glyph is generally set a little higher. Dashes are slightly longer than hyphens when handwritten. The em dash is used in several ways. One em is the same length as the font's height (which is typically measured in points). Similar to an en dash, but with exactly the width of a digit in the chosen typeface. The en dash – always with spaces in running text when, as discussed in this section, indicating a parenthesis or pause – and the spaced em dash both have a certain technical advantage over the unspaced em dash. [40][41] The AP Stylebook rejects the use of the open em dash to set off introductory items in lists. Style guides outside the US are more variable. I couldn’t believe—or even comprehend—what I was seeing. Preference for hyphen vs. en dash in ranges varies. Albert ran—well, more like stumbled—across the finish line. (As most keyboards do not have a dash readily at hand, some writers use two hyphens (--) to represent a dash, but most just use a hyphen.) Though the dash does have other uses, showing up primarily in creative writing, it can help expository writers in five situations.1. The en dash is used to contrast values or illustrate a relationship between two things. ", Contemplative or emotional trailing off (usually in, "I sense something; a presence I've not felt since—" in. These are the colors of the flag: red, white, and blue. But the practice in some parts of the English-speaking world, including the style recommended by The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage for printed newspapers and the AP Stylebook, sets it open, separating it from its surrounding words by using spaces or hair spaces (U+200A) when it is being used parenthetically. (It is still described for hard copy manuscript preparation in the Chicago Manual of Style as of the 16th edition, although the manual conveys that typewritten manuscript and copyediting on paper are now dated practices).

It is only when en dashes take the role of em dashes – for example, in setting off parenthetical statements such as this one – that they take spaces around them. The first thing to know when talking about dashes is that they are almost never required by the laws of grammar and punctuation. This is the rarest of dashes used in English. Still, it can’t hurt to be aware of it! Dashes are small punctuation marks that appear in writing and indicate pauses, breaks, parenthetical thoughts, and more.

There are two types of dash: the "em dash" (—) and the "en dash" (–). However, the "space, en dash, space" sequence is the predominant style in German and French typography. This can cause uneven spacing in the text, but can be mitigated by the use of thin spaces, hair spaces, or even zero-width spaces on the sides of the em dash. The figure dash ‒ has the same width as a numerical digit; most fonts have digits of equal width. In this use, it is sometimes doubled. (See En dash versus em dash below.). Dashes are, however, much less common than parentheses. Were walking close at hand; Ends not curved as much regular tilde. A section on the 2-em rule (⸺) also explains that the 2-em can be used to mark an abrupt break in direct or reported speech, but a space is used before the 2-em if a complete word is missing, while no space is used if part of a word exists before the sudden break. 3. Compare commas, em dashes and parentheses (respectively) when no internal commas intervene: "At that age I once stabbed my best friend, Fred, with a pair of pinking shears in the base of the neck, enraged because he had been given the comprehensive sixty-four-crayon Crayola box—including the gold and silver crayons—and would not let me look closely at the box to see how Crayola had stabilized the built-in crayon sharpener under the tiers of crayons. Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web. Drop us a line or let's stay in touch via : © 2020 - Orpheus Technology, They add greater context to a detail mentioned in the sentence, though they aren’t integral parts of the sentence by themselves. A dictionary entry providing an example for the term henceforth might employ the swung dash as follows: There are several similar, related characters: Typewriters and early computers have traditionally had only a limited character set, often having no key that produces a dash.