1. Presence
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    Presence Member

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    Em dash in a list with commas...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Presence, Sep 21, 2012.

    So I've run into this awkward dance about 4 times now and would like to know the official rule.
    Take this sentence for example:

    "I took the bus, arrived at the castle —an incredible sight to see actually—, and walked up to the front door."

    For me, the —, looks wrong. Does the comma go before the — or is the comma omitted?
     
  2. shaunplus
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    shaunplus Member

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    The comma is omitted and the—dash—connects to both sides of the words. It works like a parenthesis without spaces.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... that...
     
  4. serowden
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    serowden Member

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    Thanks. I used dashes like this a lot and honestly, my Dickens long semi-colon spliced mega sentences can, at times, confuse the crap out of me when I go back and read them during editing. I might post some here at some point.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A sentence should convey one concept or event clearly. It should not try to do the work of a paragraph.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    amen to that!... it's exactly what i need to tell my mentees over and over and over again... may i quote you, sweetieheart?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you wish. I'm sure you've said it sixteen different ways yourself!

    I'm also sure it feels like trying to knock down a barn with the stream from a garden hose.
     
  8. Presence
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    Presence Member

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    Thanks everyone; mission accomplished.
     

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