Thought of the day

The em dash is an ugly, unnecessary symbol that far too many people insist on using. Specifically, it’s a dash that is approximately the length of the letter M. It is usually used to put emphasis on a part of a sentence — sort of like this. However, there is a superior alternative – the en dash, as seen in this sentence. Same idea, just shorter.

But what really makes dashes intended to emphasize ugly is when people insist on adding no spaces—like right here. In this instance the em dash is necessary since the en dash usually acts as a hyphen when it isn’t surrounded by spaces. But even with this distinction, any dash without space around it is easily mistaken for being part of a hyphenated word. This adds unnecessary confusion and a lack of clarity to any writing.

Stop using em dashes – they suck.