Do the words “en dash” and “em dash” require a hyphen?

I have seen the compound words “en dash” and “em dash” sometimes appear with a hyphen (“en-dash”) and sometimes without. Are both the hyphenated and the unhyphenated forms correct? Answer There is no unanimity on the proper form of this term—at least not among U.S. authorities. Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) doesn’t include entries for … Read more

Using punctuation within a question to create a pause

Is it possible to create a long pause (confusion) in the following question. ‘You’re maybe wondering how could that be. That she is considering running away?’ Between ‘be and that‘, I was considering using an em-dash to create a prolonged pause, if possible. fyi, I believe that the first clause requires a period (indirect question). … Read more

Should I use a hyphen, an en dash, or an em dash to define or introduce a word?

I have looked up online and studied usages for the hyphen, en dash, and em dash. I still haven’t found an answer if I can define words with a dash in English. The backstory on dashes defining vocabularies I am bilingual in Russian and English. Back then when I was in a Russian school, we … Read more

Is it acceptable to place a comma after the em-dash in this sentence?

Due to financial struggles brought on by marital struggles—or perhaps it was the other way around—, the family had to forsake it as the bank foreclosed on it. I normally wouldn’t place a comma, but had the statement between the dashes been missing like so— Due to financial struggles brought on by marital struggles,the family … Read more

How would one correctly place punctuation marks in this sentence?

Moth-like, the people buzzed about: walking, driving, directing— each to their own light. I’m not sure whether each comma, colon, dash and hyphen are used correctly here. Please help! Also, this is my first question here (or at least, I think so— I have the memory of a goldfish with Alzheimer’s) so please be gentle! … Read more

Colons vs Em dash ?

The designer envisions the game’s fundamental elements: the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique, and is thus a primary creative force behind a video game. A) NO CHANGE B) elements: the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique— C) elements—the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique— D) … Read more

What should I use when introducing dialogue, hyphens, en-dashes or em-dashes?

I have always use the hyphen when introducing dialogue. -I love skating, but I’m not very good at it. But I have recently been educated about the existence and use of en/em dashes. Now, I think I got a grip on the basics, but I actually didn’t find anything on using them as dialogue introductions. … Read more