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Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 21 Use Dashes For Dashing Effect

The Dash is Brash by Valerie Ipson

It's only May, but the only dash-- references I can come up with are Christmas-related...Now Dasher! Now Dancer!..." or "Dashing through the snow..."

I think that means we need to jump right into the lesson.

I love WEEK 21! Maybe because I love dashes. (Have you read IDEAL HIGH? Yep! Full of dashes.)

Dashes were mentioned last week in the lesson on punctuation: "Use dashes to mark abrupt changes in thought or the flow of a sentence," then Stephen Wilbers gives them an entire lesson of their own. He begins with a simple definition as found in Strunk & White's Elements of Style: "A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parenthesis."

I just want to focus on the first part. Commas do their thing by causing a slight hesitation, but a dash? It makes you take some notice.

EXAMPLE: Authors write for the time in which they live, and for the ages. Exchange the comma for a dash and see if it changes the sentence for you: Authors write for the time in which they live--and for the ages. It adds just a nice amount of emphasis, doesn't it?

Check your writing to see if you are using dashes correctly--to mark abrupt changes in thought or for added emphasis.

[Apologies! Apparently, I don't know how to make an em dash in Blogger. :/]

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