The “em” dash

Today we discuss dashes; specifically, the “em”—or long—dash.  Dashes are most commonly used to amplify and explain ideas, digress from the main idea, or create an abrupt break or sudden change in a sentence, e.g.:

He spent nine hours arguing jury instructions—on which he knew the fate of his client’s case depended.

The “em” dash is formed by typing two hyphens with no space before, between, or after them; Microsoft Word will convert them into an “em” dash when you complete the word after the dash.

That is all for now …

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