Call all grammar gurus!


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  1. #1

    Call all grammar gurus!

    Can a comma be placed after a dash, like so?


    She pestered the men about her mailbox – destroyed during the collision –, what business was it of hers?


    I’ve also considered:


    She pestered the men about her mailbox – destroyed during the collision; what business was it of hers?
    Wherever I sat - on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok - I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.

  2. #2
    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
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    No.
    A man in possession of a wooden spoon must be in want of a pot to stir.

  3. #3
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    you cannot have two hypens in between sentences.
    you can have
    she pestered the men about her mailbox which was destroyed during the collision.
    what business was it of hers?

    by the way,
    I don't get
    what business was it of hers?
    it is her business surely because it is her box. I don't get the actual meaning of the question.

  4. #4
    WF Veteran Bilston Blue's Avatar
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    Actually, Nacian, I think they're intended to be dashes. They can indeed be placed as they are, separating a clause within a sentence. Blogg's correct on the comma. I've never seen that, and it's not necessary.

    On the second example the semi-colon is unnecessary. Stick to the dash. I find that to form an em dash I type in two of the blighters without leaving a gap before them (She pestered the men about the mailbox--destroyed during the collision--what business was it of hers?) or after them, and as I continue writing Microsoft Word transforms them into a correct looking em dash. Naturally, for an en dash use only a single dash during typing.

    I'm not sure about the different uses for em dashes and en dashes.

    Try this:
    http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/dashes.asp

    Hope it helps.


    Last edited by Bilston Blue; November 4th, 2011 at 05:26 PM.
    "I think a life is a plot. It's probably the elementary plot. I came across a quotation of Patrick White, the Australian writer, just about the time I needed it. He said he never bothers with plot. He just writes about life 'limping along toward death.' That made me feel much better, to keep this in my mind."

    Carol Shields.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bilston Blue View Post
    Actually, Nacian, I think they're intended to be dashes. They can indeed be placed as they are, separating a clause within a sentence. Blogg's correct on the comma. I've never seen that, and it's not necessary.

    On the second example the semi-colon is unnecessary. Stick to the dash. I find that to form an em dash I type in two of the blighters without leaving a gap before them (She pestered the men about the mailbox--destroyed during the collision--what business was it of hers?) or after them, and as I continue writing Microsoft Word transforms them into a correct looking em dash. Naturally, for an en dash use only a single dash during typing.

    I'm not sure about the different uses for em dashes and en dashes.
    Just a question Bilston

    what is the purpose of the dashes? what are their role put like that?
    and why not simply use which?

  6. #6
    WF Veteran Bilston Blue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bilston Blue

    Actually, Nacian, I think they're intended to be dashes. They can indeed be placed as they are, separating a clause within a sentence. Blogg's correct on the comma. I've never seen that, and it's not necessary.

    On the second example the semi-colon is unnecessary. Stick to the dash. I find that to form an em dash I type in two of the blighters without leaving a gap before them (She pestered the men about the mailbox--destroyed during the collision--what business was it of hers?) or after them, and as I continue writing Microsoft Word transforms them into a correct looking em dash. Naturally, for an en dash use only a single dash during typing.

    I'm not sure about the different uses for em dashes and en dashes.


    Just a question Bilston

    what is the purpose of the dashes? what are their role put like that?
    and why not simply use which?
    The dashes are used to separate a clause which breaks the flow of the main sentence. For a basic example:
    She cycled tirelessly for miles and occasionally glanced at her watch--it reminded her of all the other presents he had bought for her--but no matter how often she looked at it she knew she would be late.

    It may be a clumsy example, but it demonstrates the clause between the dashes breaking the flow of the main sentence, about her looking at her watch and knowing she will be late.

    I'm not an expert. I will happily listen to any corrections.
    "I think a life is a plot. It's probably the elementary plot. I came across a quotation of Patrick White, the Australian writer, just about the time I needed it. He said he never bothers with plot. He just writes about life 'limping along toward death.' That made me feel much better, to keep this in my mind."

    Carol Shields.

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