1. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Which dash to use before a time reference?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SwampDog, Apr 8, 2013.

    .
    He glanced at his Seiko (em or en?) four a.m. I'm leaning towards em, but it doesn't look right. (Previously I'd have used a hyphen, but gather that that's now wrong.)

    I've looked at the writing resource links, but that particular question doesn't seem to be covered.

    Cheers
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the em dash is shown in mss with a double hyphen...

    an en dash can't be easily distinguished from a hyphen, so isn't used at all, that i know of...

    and a single hyphen would not be correct in that instance... they're used only in hyphenated words... such as 'son-in-law'...
     
  3. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Many thanks. Some programmes will automatically convert the double dash to an em. I just use Alt+196.

    Em dash it is, but I've gone with, He glanced at his Seiko. Four a.m., as I think it looks better than, He glanced at his Seiko─four a.m.

    Cheers
     
  4. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Just an FYI, if you're using Word, then Control, Alt, minus sign on far upper right will do the same thing, and is a little faster.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can probably disable the auto-conversion so the double hypen won't turn into an em dash...

    otherwise, all you need do is hit the space bar after the second hyphen, before you start the next word, as it only converts if you type a letter immediately after... then simply backspace to take out the gap...
     

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