1. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    punctuation after an em-dash.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by eden baylee, Oct 18, 2010.

    Which is correct? Not sure if "in" needs to be capitalized.




    “No worries, John. You weren’t too much—in fact, you were just perfect.”

    “No worries, John. You weren’t too much—In fact, you were just perfect.”
     
  2. mattyb
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    mattyb Member

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    The first example is correct - no need for capitalization. In fact you can take out the two commas as well. ;)
     
  3. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Mattyb - lovely, thank you for your response. eb
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    “No worries, John. You weren’t too much. In fact, you were just perfect.”

    The em-dash does not belong there at all.
     
  5. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Hi Cogito,

    I'm trying to understand this. Are you saying it doesn't belong as it's not a change in thought, but a continuation of the same thought?

    If what I want to convey is she takes that teeny extra moment to ponder about how perfect he was, would it be correct to write as :

    “No worries, John. You weren’t too much ... in fact, you were just perfect.”
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the end, punctuation comes down to the emotion you're trying to convey. Use the ellipses if that's a pause.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    “No worries, John. You weren’t too much." She smiled. "In fact, you were just perfect.”

    A beat is an action by the speaker inserted between segments of dialogue. One function of a beat is to inject a short pause. It could be a smile, or she looks down at her hands, or she takes a breath, whatever is appropriate for the moment.

    An ellipsis can be used to denote a pause (speech trailing off), but it's not very expressive, and moreover should be used very sparingly.

    An em-dash denotes interrupted speech, not a pause.

    You can also put a dialogue tag in the pause point. It doesn't really mean the speech pauses there, by=ut as far as the reader is concerned, it feels like a brief pause.

    “No worries, John. You weren’t too much," she said. "In fact, you were just perfect.”
     
  8. eden baylee
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    eden baylee Member

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    Cogito, this is great information. Thanks you very much.

    eb
     

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