Happy (Writer) Wednesday, good people!
Today's post is to hopefully clear up a common punctuation mark mistake. (I'm guilty of making this mistake, that's why I felt it necessary to share my research results.)
Dashes and hyphens. which is which?
First, let me start by saying that dashes are longer than hyphens and there are two types: en dash and em dash. Em dashes are the longest of the three punctuation marks and can be typed by combining two hyphens if there isn't a keyboard option for em dashes. Additionally, em dashes are used to separate information within a sentence. In some cases, they can be substitutes for commas and parentheses. For example:
All of George's children--Halian, Henry and Huck--were raised in Compton, California.
Notice that I used two hyphens (a bootleg em dash) to separate and clarify a portion of the sentence in the above example.
En dashes, however, are used in a sentence to include range, show partnership, replace "versus," and/or connect a prefix to a proper open compound. For example:
The homework assignment is to read pages 10–15. (range)
The Harvey–Jones paper received and A+. (partnership of equal pairing)
The Los Angeles Sparks–Atlanta Dream basketball game was exciting.
Halian learned pre–World War II facts in her history class. (prefix & open compound)
– (en dash)
-- or — (em dash)
I hope these punctuation mark tips help with your future writing(s).
Remember: Always strive to #LookBetterInWriting.