Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So, about the title of my blog...

Punctuation marks hold a lot of personality, and my favorite--by far--is the em dash.  I remember the first time I noticed how sleek they looked, how cute, peeking out of my fantasy book.  I must have been eleven or twelve, but when I really saw them for the first time, I knew: here's a punctuation mark that is both powerful and lovely.  A dash like an otter, swift and fluid on the page. 

Ignore the comma-like curve of the tail--otters are em-dashes.  Trust me.

This little guy is shocked I haven't defined em-dashes yet!  Shocked!

So.  I don't feel like explaining too much in depth.  Here is a chart:

The longer the dash, the more powerful it is.  Em-dashes can connect sentences, and, like the letter n has one hump and the letter m has two humps, the em-dash is made of two en-dashes.  In Word, when you type a word with no spaces, two dashes, and another word right away, you'll see the em-dash fuse into one slender, playful line--and, if you're like me, in that instant you'll feel a brief flicker of happiness.

Moral: I love em-dashes, and so should you.  And if you don't know how to use one, you can always ask me--or maybe train it with fish.
Aw!  Someday this baby en-dash will grow up to be a strong, intelligent em-dash--just like his mommy

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