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NYT Draft blog

Mad Dash

[From Draft]

October 22, 2012 - Let’s consider the most versatile piece of punctuation — the dash. That’s right — I’m talking about the horizontal line formed by typing two hyphens in a row. It’s the mark that — unlike commas, periods, semicolons and all the others — doesn’t seem to be subject to any rules.

You can get a sense of the dash’s versatility from the above paragraph, every sentence of which employs at least one of them. As for rules, well, there are some guidelines, but not too many.

First, make the thing the right way.