1. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    EM Dash

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by tonten, Feb 2, 2010.

    When submitting to a publisher or an agent, is it acceptable to use two dashes

    -- to represent em dashes in your manuscript or should one change all the double dashses into actual EM dashes?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    -- is preferable, as it is the manuscript standard to denote an em dash, dating back to the days of manual typewriters. An actual em dash can be mistaken for a hyphen, particularly in some fonts, so it may appear to some editors that you do not know the correct punctuation.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... ditto that... in toto...
     
  4. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    Instead of creating a new thread, I want to bring back an old one with a question.

    I remember reading somewhere that American writers usually don't write Em dashes with a space before or after them.

    And I think it was in Britain that uses spaces before and after EM dashes.

    After a year of rewriting, editing, and getting countless people to read my manuscript, I have decided it is time to submit to an agent.

    Right now I have a space before/after every EM dash in my manuscript (cept the ones before ending quotations)

    Should I reformat my entire manuscript to adhere to the no space rule? Or is what I am doing is fine to submit it to an American agent?


    *Edit

    Well, after reading more forums from google, what I've gathered that it seems to be a more style choice.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as long as you're consistent, it won't matter... if you get an agent and if s/he gets you a publisher, the publisher will use their own house style, anyway...
     
  6. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    That also seemed to be the general consensus I read in another thread.

    thank-you mammamaia.
     
  7. MoonlitJess
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    MoonlitJess New Member

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    I think either way is fine. Most editors will be able to tell the difference between an em dash, en dash, or hyphen anyway. As long as you've been consistent, just stick with whatever you've already done.

    Also, regarding spaces before and after an em dash... it's a stylistic choice rather than a set rule. Most publishers will have that set out in their style guide, and will make the changes in-house, if any are needed.
     

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