Saturday, May 2

A short word on dashes

Hyphen, en dash, em dash—what are they used for and why does everyone use the wrong one?

Used for split words at the end of a sentence and for compound words
ie. a hard-won fight

En Dash
Used to show passage of time and can be in replace of through or to. The En dash is a medium length dash. On a Mac, the key command is option + - (hyphen).
ie. Monday–Friday, 6:00–7:00

Em Dash
Used to show a change of thought within a sentence. It is a long dash and often replaces parenthesis or semi colons. On the web and in Microsoft Word it is represented by two dashes in a row. On a Mac, the key command is option + shift + - (hyphen).
ie. I pay the bills—he has all the fun.

Remembering to use the correct punctuation is key to a well-designed piece. It is important to take responsibility for the text even if you did not type it. Pay attention to the details—it saves time, revisions and makes you look better in the eyes of your client.

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