1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. Presence

    Presence Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1

    Em dash in a list with commas...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Presence, Sep 21, 2012.

    So I've run into this awkward dance about 4 times now and would like to know the official rule.
    Take this sentence for example:

    "I took the bus, arrived at the castle —an incredible sight to see actually—, and walked up to the front door."

    For me, the —, looks wrong. Does the comma go before the — or is the comma omitted?
     
  2. shaunplus

    shaunplus Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    The comma is omitted and the—dash—connects to both sides of the words. It works like a parenthesis without spaces.
     
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    yup!... that...
     
  4. serowden

    serowden Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I used dashes like this a lot and honestly, my Dickens long semi-colon spliced mega sentences can, at times, confuse the crap out of me when I go back and read them during editing. I might post some here at some point.
     
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,068
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A sentence should convey one concept or event clearly. It should not try to do the work of a paragraph.
     
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    amen to that!... it's exactly what i need to tell my mentees over and over and over again... may i quote you, sweetieheart?
     
  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,068
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you wish. I'm sure you've said it sixteen different ways yourself!

    I'm also sure it feels like trying to knock down a barn with the stream from a garden hose.
     
  8. Presence

    Presence Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks everyone; mission accomplished.
     

Share This Page