CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES
Source: Thursdays with Ron
Dashes can be used in three ways:
1) Dashes can emphasize something, or point out irony or unexpectedness.
Consider these examples-
i)Joe-who grew up in Alaska-thinks that winter in San Francisco is cold. This is entirely unexpected. I mean since Alaska is way colder than SF, then its entirely unexpected that someone who grew up in Alaska feels that winter of SF is colder.
ii) Joe, who grew up in Miami, thinks that winter in SF is cold. Thats normal.
2)Dashes can clarify sentences/ remove ambiguity in which commas are confusing/ambigous.
3) Dashes can set off entire sentences as "description".
James is in financial trouble- he has not paid his rent for the past three months-but he is still making lots of purchases on his credit card.
Two things to remember:
a) Dashes are not commas. They both are similar but still they are quite different from each other, so treat them as such.
b) If you open a description with a dash, then you must have to close it with another dash unless the description goes all the way till the end.
Prepositional Phrases Clarified|Elimination of BEING| Absolute Phrases Clarified
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