Dash it all!

punctuation-marks-dashes-hyphensOne of the more common mistakes I see with writers is the use (or misuse) of dashes and ellipsis. When do you use ellipsis? And when do you use hyphens or the longer em dashes?

Here are the rules, as followed by The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) and most publishers:

Use the longer em dash to indicate faltering or interrupted speech. Here are some examples from CMS:

“Will he—can he—obtain the necessary signatures?” asked Mill.

“Well, I don’t know,” I began tentatively. “I thought… Continue reading