Hyphens and Dashes

There three distinct punctuation marks in this set:

  • The Hyphen – It is the shorter of the three marks, and it is often used to link two or more words together. It can sometimes be seen at the end of a line to break up a whole word that won’t fit into the space.
  • The EN Dash – Is slightly longer than the hyphen, and is mainly used when displaying ranges. It is called an En Dash because its length was the width of the capital letter “N”—a carry-over from the old days of typography. To create the EN Dash, hold down the ALT key and enter 0150 on you number keys of your computer.
    • Example: The play will run March 3–10.
    • Example:  For the assignment, you are to read pages 55–79.
  • The EM Dash – It is the longest line of the three, and is used to place emphasis by either offsetting the information to be emphasized between two EM Dashes or after one EM Dash at the end of sentence. It is called an EM Dash because its length was the width of the capital letter “M”—a carry-over from the old days of typography. To create the EM Dash, hold down the ALT key and enter 0151 on you number keys of your computer.(NOTE: There should be no space between the EM Dash and the words preceding or following it.)
    • Example: My brother—a certified genius—knows how to solve any calculus problem.
    • Example: The house was rumored to be haunted—a likely story.

 

using hyphens to clarify meaning from Mr Tomkins on Vimeo.