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  1. enquiringperson
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    enquiringperson New Member

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    Punctuation for stuttered dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by enquiringperson, Sep 30, 2011.

    My question is if there is a rule or standard for punctuation for stuttered dialogue:
    eg: "B - B - Bruce is fine."

    Hyphen, m-dash or n-dash?

    Also, what are the rules regarding the capitalisation:
    eg: "M - m - my mother." or "M - M - My mother." ?

    Any help appreciated.
    Cheers.
     
  2. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    I use "M-Ma-Mother" so that would be my recommendation.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    hyphen between each part of the stuttered word, with no space fore or aft...

    em dash is incorrect and en dash is so close to a hyphen i don't see it ever needed in fiction...
     
  4. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    What is a em-dash and an en-dash?

    Thanks to "Word" I have stuttered appropriately through my dialog...:p
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    an em dash is a like a hyphen, but longer... the name defines it, since it's supposed to be as long as the letter 'm' is wide... ditto for the en dash and the letter 'n'... in practice, in some fonts they're longer than others... type a few words with a double hyphen that should automatically turn into an em dash, if you use ms word... then change the font and you'll see what i mean...

    both sizes can be found in your symbols menu... info here: http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/d.html
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    As MS=Word 2007 (and earlier versions) came preconfigured for me, a double hyphen autocorrects to an en dash, not an em dash. In Word 2007 [alt]num[alt]p offers you en and em dashes, as does the deprecated older key sequence of [alt]is[alt]p. I can see uses for the en-dash in fiction, but not often, although British usage tends to use an en-dash with spaces either side where US usage would use an em-dash with no spaces, so we're likely to use it rather more.
     
  7. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    MS Word will autocorrect to an em-dash, too. Leave no spaces around the double hyphens for those results. If you leave spaces, it will autocorrect to an en-dash.
     
  8. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    I use the Em dash to show a pause, but not an unfinished pause like ...
    Is this Incorrect? or did you just mean with regards to stutters?
     

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