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

What do you do with a comma that would come after a dash?

One common use of em dashes is to offset parenthetical phrases. But if a comma outside the parenthetical phrase immediately follows the parenthetical, what do you do with the comma? I realize that that explanation is a little long-winded and confusing, so here’s an example of a sentence that I’m unsure about (should there be … Read more

Is the folllowing sentence correctly punctuated?

Could someone please tell me if I’ve correctly punctuated the following sentence (specifically, if I’ve correctly used the dash and commas highlighted bloew)? Also, is the period at the end of the word “voice” better served by a comma or semicolon? My partner and I had been patrolling the Rideau Canal Skateway—a nearly 8 km … Read more

Student t-distribution: why the dash [sic, EA; hyphen]

In statistics, the t-distribution is important. It is an approximation to the normal distribution. Of course we don’t say “normal-distribution” (with the dash). Well then, what exactly is the grammatical justification for calling it t-distribution as opposed to just t distribution ? Or to put it another way, is there a good name for the … 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