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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Zherog View Post
    In Word you can create an em-dash by holding down ctrl and alt and pressing the minus key on your number pad. Similarly, you can produce an en-dash by holding just ctrl and pressing the minus key on your number pad.

    In RPG publishing, there's three different dashes.

    Hyphen: (-) This guy is the one we're mostly used to, and sits to the right of the zero key. This is used as the dash between compound words, like up in my first paragraph.

    Em-Dash: (—) This one has been pretty well described in this thread. Note that some publishers (again, in the RPG world only - don't know about others) do not want spaces on either side of the em-dash. others specifically do. For example, from kindablue's post:

    His first thought on getting out of bed — if he had any thought at all — was to get back in again.

    Some publishers want those spaces. Others:

    His first thought on getting out of bed—if he had any thought at all—was to get back in again.

    Take 'em right out!

    En-Dash: (–) This little guy is ever so slightly bigger than a hyphen. RPG publishers like it in place of a minus sign, as well as a separator on lists. For example:

    1d20–5

    or

    1–20%: blah blah blah
    Whether or not to surround an em dash with spaces depends on the style guide. The Chicago Manual of Style instructs no spacing whereas journalistic style guides instruct spacing.

    Spacing after sentences is another style question. The CMS instructs one space after a sentence but many people prefer two. In this matter, follow whatever your boss says Whether or not to use the Oxford comma is another style question. CMS supports the Oxford comma.

    Overall, the main thing is consistency. For example, if you are a company that I have done business with, it is acceptable to send me an e-mail (there is a current style debate of whether to use "e-mail" or "email" by the way) with the shortcut "--" in lieu of an em dash. However, it is not acceptable to use the shortcut and an em dash in the same sentence--that is, don't do this—as it makes the e-mail look sloppy.

    Out of curiousity, do the RPG publishers release their house styles so that submitters can conform their work to them? Or do the publishers just have copy editors deal with it?

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Arranis Thelmos View Post
    It fixes it automatically when I'm in a proper word browser, so I'm not too terribly worried. Why aren't two hyphens an acceptable replacement? All the English teachers I've had said it was.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    Personally I just use the humble hyphen to serve that purpose - Word auto-corrects to the em dash if it's surrounded by spaces, but a single hyphen works perfectly fine for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winter_Wolf View Post
    True, Word does, but a lot of other programs don't. And no, not everyone has or uses Word, despite it being the Big Dog. I don't know if my Dell keyboard is actually a US standard 104-key keyboard, but I have TWO of the following: Alt key, Windows Key (really, 2 of them?), Ctrl key. I also have a context menu key. Of these, the only one I can understand the possible need for is the right side Ctrl key. Hands up anyone who uses the Windows key so much they'd ever need more than ONE.

    I'd use an em-dash a lot more if I had a dedicated key for it, or at least something that didn't require me to hit five keys to produced it (assuming Alt+0151). The double dash (-- oh, hi there) is kind of a poor substitute, especially when you (well I do anyway) get flack for using it. Then again these are also the same people who should be sent back to remedial English classes to learn how to use a gorram apostrophe.
    Actually this is a Word Auto-Correct Option, which is turned on by default. Which means that you can turn it off.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter_Wolf View Post
    True, Word does, but a lot of other programs don't. And no, not everyone has or uses Word, despite it being the Big Dog. I don't know if my Dell keyboard is actually a US standard 104-key keyboard, but I have TWO of the following: Alt key, Windows Key (really, 2 of them?), Ctrl key. I also have a context menu key. Of these, the only one I can understand the possible need for is the right side Ctrl key. Hands up anyone who uses the Windows key so much they'd ever need more than ONE.

    I'd use an em-dash a lot more if I had a dedicated key for it, or at least something that didn't require me to hit five keys to produced it (assuming Alt+0151). The double dash (-- oh, hi there) is kind of a poor substitute, especially when you (well I do anyway) get flack for using it. Then again these are also the same people who should be sent back to remedial English classes to learn how to use a gorram apostrophe.
    The latter clause of my post was intended to convey that I don't consider the auto-correct necessary - I consider the hyphen adequate whether or not it gets auto-corrected to an em dash.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    Spacing after sentences is another style question. The CMS instructs one space after a sentence but many people prefer two.
    These people are wrong. In the age of typewriters, two spaces was correct when typing due to fixed-width characters. Two spaces in books has never been correct. In modern computing, where Word is capable of emulating a book's careful typesetting automatically, a space is not a fixed width character, and is automatically adjusted for optimal texture. Putting in two spaces leaves huge, gaping holes in body copy, because you're ordering the program to add in a second helping of an already inflated character.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    These people are wrong. In the age of typewriters, two spaces was correct when typing due to fixed-width characters. Two spaces in books has never been correct. In modern computing, where Word is capable of emulating a book's careful typesetting automatically, a space is not a fixed width character, and is automatically adjusted for optimal texture. Putting in two spaces leaves huge, gaping holes in body copy, because you're ordering the program to add in a second helping of an already inflated character.
    What if you're using Courier?

    Ha, what am I saying. Everyone uses 12 point Times New Roman . . .

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    So the use of them em-dash ( — ) is to work like an aside? I thought that was the en-dash ( – ), and the em-dash was for such things as when someone is suddenly cut off while speaking?

    Note I only found out what these were called, and that they actually did have specific uses other than aesthetic, about a week ago.
    Em dash for long asides, en dash for numerical ranges.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    Is that what they're called? I use dashes a fair bit to sort of interrupt myself in the middle of a sentence - an aside or digression, if you will, often with a clarification on some small point - before continuing it on. I have no idea whether it's correct, but it feels natural and sensical to me.
    Personally, I like using parentheses (it sort of feels like I'm whispering to the reader in secret) to interrupt myself in sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    I think its placement is wholly justified; the semicolon can clearly be used in place of any other punctuation mark.
    If karma exists, you will pay for that. The semicolon has an actual use in separating two distinct but connected thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    There are two types of dashes used in typography--the en-dash, which is the shorter one most people use to separate compound words, and the em-dash, which is a longer one used to separate parts of sentences. (I used both in that sentence, I just noticed...wasn't intentional, honest!).
    There are three. The hyphen is what you want for connecting words and is the standard character on a keyboard because we use hyphenated words all the time.

    The en dash is for numerical ranges mostly and doesn't come up much.

    The em dash is the one that separate out thoughts or asides in sentences.

    Here they are for comparison (hyphen, en dash, em dash)
    -



    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    These people are wrong. In the age of typewriters, two spaces was correct when typing due to fixed-width characters. Two spaces in books has never been correct. In modern computing, where Word is capable of emulating a book's careful typesetting automatically, a space is not a fixed width character, and is automatically adjusted for optimal texture. Putting in two spaces leaves huge, gaping holes in body copy, because you're ordering the program to add in a second helping of an already inflated character.
    It's not wrong if the person outranks you and demands a certain style.
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    Anarion's right on the money here.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    It's not wrong if the person outranks you and demands a certain style.
    ...Anarion beat me to it. I was just about to mention that every copy editor I have ever met demanded Courier and double-spaces between sentences.


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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Story Time View Post
    ...Anarion beat me to it. I was just about to mention that every copy editor I have ever met demanded Courier and double-spaces between sentences.

    Interesting . . . I use single-spacing if it is up to me, but I had a summer internship where I had to use double-spacing (it also required Word Perfect--yuck). Honestly, it's probably better to get in the habit of using two spaces, because it is very easy to edit a paper from double-spaces to single-spaces. All one has to do is to use the find/replace feature--find [double space] and replace with [single space].

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    It's not wrong if the person outranks you and demands a certain style.
    Nobody outranks Elements of Typographic Style.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    Interesting . . . I use single-spacing if it is up to me, but I had a summer internship where I had to use double-spacing (it also required Word Perfect--yuck). Honestly, it's probably better to get in the habit of using two spaces, because it is very easy to edit a paper from double-spaces to single-spaces. All one has to do is to use the find/replace feature--find [double space] and replace with [single space].
    Or you can find and replace [. ] with [. ].
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Personally, I like using parentheses (it sort of feels like I'm whispering to the reader in secret) to interrupt myself in sentences.
    I tend to use brackets for an aside that's sort of more removed, a bigger digression, from the main sentence (or, for example, as in this case, when it's a more complicated digression. It's probably bad style, but you can even have multiple sentences within it! Whereas the dashes are for much shorter asides).

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    Out of curiousity, do the RPG publishers release their house styles so that submitters can conform their work to them? Or do the publishers just have copy editors deal with it?
    It seems, ironically, that the bigger the publisher the more likely they are to provide a style guide. Wizards, White Wolf, Paizo, and Frog God Games have all provided me with one at some point or another. But it's surprisingly consistent overall. Most want times new roman 12 for text, TNR 10 for stat blocks, no Oxford comma*, no spaces between text and em-dash, 1" margins around the entire page, and so on. There's slight differences -- which, of course, makes things annoying.

    * I personally prefer the Oxford comma. It makes text more clear without really taking up any real space on the page.
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    Note: unless explicitly stated otherwise, opinions in my posts are my own and not those of Frog God Games.

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    Default Re: Using em-dashes in conjuction with commas

    Quote Originally Posted by Zherog View Post
    But it's surprisingly consistent overall.
    That was a useful post. Thanks, Zherog.

    I...might ask about Paizo quirks, but...I don't want to be a bother.

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