Daily Prompt: Dash
Who would have thought that using the little dash would be so complicated. I always check the definitions of the words for the daily prompt before I write my little piece. I just checked the definition of dash. Wow! I thought I was pretty intelligent, and maybe at one point in my life I learned some of this, but I swear I don’t remember it.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about the dash.
“The dash is a punctuation mark that is similar to a hyphen or minus sign, but differs from both of these symbols primarily in length and function. The most common versions of the dash are the en dash (–) and the longer em dash (—), whose names historically were loosely related with the length of a lower-case n and upper-case M, respectively, in commonly used typefaces.
Usage varies both within English and in other languages, but the usual convention in printed English text is as follows:
An em dash (or an en dash) denotes a break in a sentence or to set off parenthetical statements.
Glitter, felt, yarn, and buttons—his kitchen looked as if a clown had exploded.
A flock of sparrows—some of them juveniles—alighted and sang.
The en dash (but not the em dash) indicates spans or differentiation, where it may be considered to replace “and” or “to” (but not “to” in the phrase “from … to …”):
The French and Indian War (1754–1763) was fought in western Pennsylvania and along the present US–Canada border (Edwards, pp. 81–101).
The em dash (but not the en dash) is also used to set off the sources of quotes:
Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice. — Mahatma Gandhi”
I don’t know about you, but I am just a little confused by this. However, if I am completely honest, it doesn’t take much to confuse me anymore. I think it has something to do with getting older. 🙂
Wikipedia goes on to say, “There are several forms of dash, of which the most common are: (link to site added by me)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash.”
Then Merriam-Webster’s definition is this.
1: to break by striking or knocking angrily dashed the bouquet of flowers against the table
2: to knock, hurl, or thrust violently dashed water onto his face a boat that had beendashed against the rocks
3: splash, spatter his pants were dashed with mud
4a : ruin, destroy the news dashed his hopesb : depress, saddenc : to make ashamed dashed by her scorn
5: to affect by mixing in something different his delight was dashed with bitterness
6: to complete, execute, or finish off hastily —used with down or off dashed down a drinkdash off a letter… he dashed off the book in eight weeks … — Paul Fussell
7[euphemism]: 1damn 4 Dash it all!
1: to move with sudden speed dashed down the hallway
So the simple little dash has many meanings and uses – my work here is done. I have dashed to the internet and dashed off my research with dashing results. I hope I haven’t dashed your enthusiasm for using dash as that would have dashed your interest.