#justforfun I am not #grammarnazi
[Lesson of the day:]
It was a busy day yesterday. I was em dashing all over the place the whole day only to realise that I should have been en dashing at some places.
Life was much easier when all I knew was hyphen.
Everyone has come across hyphen, em dash and en dash. Only pro writers know they exist.
There are 3 types of dash based on the length of the dash. The shortest is the hyphen and the longest is the em dash. They are used for different purpose in writing.
1. Hyphen is used for terms that consist of more than one word, eg. free-for-all
2. En-dash is used to show a range (numbers, dates, times). eg. from page 11–15 (there should be no space beside the en dash)
It can also be used to show connection/conflict, eg. the Trump–Hillary debate, the East–West MRT line
3. Em-dash is usually used to emphasise a point. eg, You need to have two qualities to be Dean’s friend — authenticity and intelligence.
Unfortunately, em dash is more versatile. It can also be used in a few other instances. But I am too busy dashing around to explain here.
People always only use hyphen in their writings because en-dash and em-dash don’t appear on the keyboard. You need to use symbols function or shortcut keys.
Mac shortcut keys:
En-dash : option/alt + hyphen/minus sign
Em-dash: “option/alt + shift + hyphen/minus sign”
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