1. Sarita Noel
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    Sarita Noel Member

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    Once in awhile

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sarita Noel, Nov 19, 2012.

    The sentence is:

    Once in awhile there may be something special like a car show to check out.

    Do I need a comma after once in awhile? And probably another comma in there somewhere...

    But I think I will re-word the sentence... something like:

    Once in awhile there may be something special to check out, like a car show.

    Or:

    Once in awhile there may be something special to check out - like a car show.

    Thanks!
    Sarita
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, a comma there is optional... and a comma is ok, a hyphen is not...

    if you meant that hyphen to be an em dash, you could use a dash, but it would have to be typed correctly... like--this... with no space before or after and a double hyphen used to show it is an em dash, so it won't be confused with a hyphen, by the editor and typesetter...
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    By the way, it's once in a while, not once in awhile.

    Awhile is an adverb; a while is a noun phrase.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, that, too!
     
  5. Sarita Noel
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    Sarita Noel Member

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    Thanks everyone for responding!

    I double checked "a while" in my submitted article (thank you Cogito), which hasn't been reviewed yet, and saw that I had typed it correctly. I was worried for a minute! I also changed the sentence to: Once in a while there may be something special to check out, like a car show.

    Mamma, thanks for the info on the m dash. I'm just starting out, so that's good stuff to know!

    Thanks,
    Sarita
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's properly called an 'em' dash, btw...
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't show your location in your profile. The rules on dashes vary by country. Mamma gives you the USA rules, but if you are somewhere else you should find the local rules.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    do the rules differ in the uk, dig?
     
  9. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Once in a while there may be something special to check out, like a car show or a....
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Possibly :)

    You'll have gathered that things tend to be more flexible in the UK than in the USA; there's less agreement between style guides. I've certainly seen style guides advocate open en-dashes where closed em-dashes would be mandated in the USA.
     

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