TIPSY Today™ Blog with Rogena & Colleen | A Footprint of RMJ Editing & Manuscript Service, Colleen Snibson Editing, and Two Red Pens Editing
TIPSY TODAY with Rogena
Hyphens (-), En Dashes (–), and Em Dashes (—)... again.
We've touched on this before, but a refresher is always a good thing.
When do you use each? It can be confusing, but here is a little info sent to me by my dear friend, Writing Coach EJ Runyon. I've added a little to it for clarity.
Hyphens CONNECT words. In other words, to separate things that are intimately related: jet-pack, tie-in, two-thirds
En dashes SHOW A RANGE of things. In other words, things related to each other by distance: Saturday–Sunday, May–September, Pages 47–52
Em dashes have several uses. They can be used as bullet points in a list. They act as parenthesis when an additional thought is added in the middle of a sentence. They also are used for INTERRUPTED thought, speech, or narration:
"What? Just wai—"
"No, you wait!"
When using any of these, there should be NO SPACES before or after the hyphens or dashes.
HOW TO MAKE EM DASH:
ON A PC--Hold down the ALT key and type 0151 on the numeric KEYPAD. [[Only the numbers on the right-hand keypad do this, not the numbers above the letters.]]
ON A MAC--Press Shift-Option and the minus key to create an em-dash.
**MS Word automatically converts two hyphens into an em-dash if you type a word before and after.
**You can also add one by selecting INSERT>SYMBOL> and then choosing from the list of symbols.
SO... if you are on a NOTEPAD / TABLET and are using MS Word, you can do the INSERT>SYMBOL> option, too.
Prior to sending your manuscript to your copy/line editor, consider a writing coach such as E.J. Runyon. www.bridgetostory.com
Other source: Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition
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