Typography nazi?

I ran across a fun post today, via Language Rules! The post on that rarely used blog linked to Receding Hairline‘s recent post on common typographic errors (rather than grammatical errors) and how to fix them.

I agree with most of his post, with the exception of the part about dashes. Long dashes — as seen here, and otherwise known as em-dashes — are not being replaced with en-dashes (–). And I understand that common usage, for some reason, indicates that dashes should not have spaces around them, but I don’t understand that. The function they serve is separating, rather than connecting, so I intentionally use spaces around em-dashes here. I rarely use en-dashes, reserving them from when a range is needed (such as 1–2), or some similar function.

I also posted a comment objecting to his ellipsis entry. It’s not really that I disagree with what he’s said, but he has committed a usage error. Most of the time, ellipses should be preceded by a space as well as followed by a space, particularly when the three dots are not placed at the end of a complete sentence.

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4 responses to “Typography nazi?

  1. I have to admit to not giving that post the kind of attention it needed (it’s been a rough day around here). I’ll have a closer look when my brain is able to think in terms of grammar and rules; right now, I’m just trying to get through the day.

  2. Wow, sorry; hope your weekend helps you recuperate.

  3. I get that the rules say that there should be no spaces before and after an em dash. However, I find that when reading, especially on the computer, that words and the em dashes run into each other. We read differently on screen than on paper.

    So my preference is to put spaces around my em dashes. 🙂

  4. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in preferring spaces around em-dashes. 🙂

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