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CHAT: Dashes

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Thursday, June 7, 2001, 20:35
Robert Hailman wrote:

> I tend not to use parentheses, but sometimes I do. I do use hyphens a > lot, where parentheses or commas would be expected - "So I was talking > to Fred the other day - you met him at that party a week ago - and he > said..." but more formal than that.
Perfectly fine, but use them two at a time to form a dash. You can make up your own mind about whether to use spaces around the dash or not.
> I've never seen a style guide > address that use, even to warn against it, and I've never been told > using them was bad style.
Dashes should be used in pairs -- this is the way you do it -- to emphasize the part being set off. An unpaired dash indicates a radical change of direction for the sentence -- like this. "Dashes emphasize, parentheses reduce, commas merely enclose." -- There is / one art || John Cowan <jcowan@...> no more / no less || to do / all things || with art- / lessness \\ -- Piet Hein


Robert Hailman <robert@...>