Friday, September 24, 2010

Em dash Anonymous

I admit it, I overuse the em dash. There, I said it.

According to Wikipedia, "The em dash (—), or m dash, m-rule, etc., often demarcates a parenthetical thought or some similar interpolation."

I recently submitted a draft of a nonfiction piece to my editor.  And much to my chagrin, one of her comments was about my beloved em dash.  I was chagrined mostly because I had removed a half-dozen of the dashes before submitting because a friend of mine noted that I had used so many.

When I confessed this to my editor, she replied how much SHE likes the em dash in her own writing--how's that for karma!

It's important to know your own weaknesses!  I'm also guilty of overusing commas, but that's another post...

Any one else willing to stand up and admit your em dash love?  (See, I only used it once in this post!)

8 comments:

Christine Danek said...

I lovethe em dash. I admit it, I use it too much.
I jump on the comma train too.
Thanks.

Kris said...

Thanks Christine--glad I'm not alone!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I actually had a suggestion recently that I replace some of my commas with dashes!

Jen Besel said...

I love that you actually did post about this! The em-dash is fantastic—just not for struggling readers.

(from the aforementioned editor)

Kris said...

Thanks for commenting Jen! You know now I'm going to be hyper-sensitive about how often I use the dash...

:)

ElegantSnobbery said...

I love the dashes when they are used well, and not over used!

(haha, I was the one who suggested it to Tina!)

Ansha said...

I love ellipses... LOVE Them... eternally... forever... amen. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I do like em dashes but tend to use them more in emails and blog posts than I do my writing. That's funny you had taken some out before submitting!