A dash is a punctuation mark. It is longer than a hyphen and is used differently. There are several forms of dash, of which the most common are the hyphen (‐), the figure dash (‒), the en dash (–), the em dash (—), the horizontal bar (―) and the swung dash (~).
The hyphen (‐) is used both to join words and to separate syllables. Strictly speaking, the hyphen is not a dash; thus, careful typesetting (including with modern computer applications, such as word processors and HTML) relies on the following proper dashes instead, such as the figure dash, so named because it is the same length as a digit in fixed-width font-faces. Two kinds of dash are used on Wikipedia: the en dash and the em dash. En dashes (–) have four distinct roles, that is to indicate disjunction, to be used as a negative sign, in a list or as a snazzy, stylistic alternative to em dashes. Em dashes have two main roles: use as parenthesis (Wikipedia—one of the most popular web sites—has all the information you need and is completely truthful). Here, a pair of em dashes is a more arresting way of interpolating a phrase or clause than a pair of commas, and is less of an interruption than brackets. An em dash can also be used as a sharp break in a sentence. (more...)
B - A - utiful. Long may the fruitful, fair Free Kingdom of Wikimedia flourish. Long live its great and honourable monarchy and its noble government. Let them guide our great Kingdom to further success and conquest. Work, Labour, Toil for this Free Land that we may forever Rule over Them. All Heil King Jimbo I!
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