The Dash with Coordinated Elements

As we saw with the comma (page 288), coordinated elements are sometimes punctuated for emphasis. Stronger stress can be attained by using dashes:

We were—and are—in everyday contact with these invisible empires. Arnold

What the youth of their observing at

Bethel was the potential power of a generation that in countless disturbing ways has rejected the traditional values and goals of the U.S. Vme magazine

Coordinated independent clauses are occasionally separated by a dash instead of the usual comma, but it is worth repeating that the dash is not the conventional stop for such a case and should be employed only when emphasis is necessary:

He was a sad, embittered young man—and well he might be.

Aldous Huxley

Even uncoordinated independent clauses may be punctuated by a dash instead of the conventional semicolon:

Hammer is not just any has The

Charles J.

A town may impose regulation upon the use of trucks which are equipped with loudspeakers—it may, for example, limit the loud playing of music On SUCh trucks. Roger Fsher t> The Dash Introducing a List

The colon conventionally introduces a series of specifics. The dash, however, is employed for the same purpose. The only difference is that the dash is less formal:

In short, says the historian Friedrich Heer, the crusades were promoted with all the devices of the propagandist—atrocity stories, over-simplification, lies, inflammatory speeches. Morris Bishop t> The Dash Around Intrusive Sentence Absolutes

An intrusive sentence absolute is a completely independent second sentence which is stuck into the middle of a containing statement without being syntactically tied to it in any way. Such a construction must be clearly marked, but it cannot be set off by commas, semicolons, or colons, since these stops would imply a grammatical connection between it and the containing sentence which does not exist. Parentheses could be used and sometimes are; but they are a little formal for this kind of construction, which is colloquial in tone. Here, then, is the one function which belongs primarily to the dash:

The opening paragraph—it is one of Pushkin's famous openings— plunges the reader into the heart of the matter.

Rosemary Edmonds

He has never, himself, done anything for which to be hated—which of us has?—and yet he is facing, daily and nightly, people who would gladly see him dead, and he knows it. . James Baldwin

He [the psychoanalyst] tells us—and the notion has gained official acceptance to a limited degree—that crime is not so much willful sin as the product of sickness.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment