Colons, semicolons, dashes, and parentheses - Page 2


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Thread: Colons, semicolons, dashes, and parentheses

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post

    What is a "soft because"?
    It's a term I just invented

    What I meant by it was that, sometimes, the word "because" wouldn't be a good fit, but it might be implied, because the part of the sentence after the semi-colon is some sort of explanation of the part that precedes the semi-colon.


  2. #12
    Music Guru Trollheart's Avatar
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    I tend to use dashes (do not ask me which, em or en; I'm not actually that aware of the difference) a lot to break up sentences. Such as "As the sun rose over the valley - only recently the scene of a terrible battle - it struck silver sparks off the armour of men who were now brothers in the most final sense of the word."

    Does that sound wrong to you? I guess I could use "which had been" in place of the first dash and then a comma after battle... I think it's just a habit with me. Good or bad, je ne sais quoi.

  3. #13
    I suppose the dashes could give more emphasis on an important point. The normal grammatical approach would be commas, that phrase 'which had recently been the scene of a battle', is what is called a subordinate phrase. That means the sentence still makes sense if you take it out, and the normal grammatical rule is 'Commas around subordinate phrases'.
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  4. #14
    Personally, semicolons drive me nuts! Just start a new sentence. I understand their place in structural, textual, or scientific works, but in fiction? Just don't. JMHO, of course.

  5. #15
    Music Guru Trollheart's Avatar
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    That's all very well as far as it goes; think about how it's sometimes necessary though.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
    I tend to use dashes (do not ask me which, em or en; I'm not actually that aware of the difference) a lot to break up sentences. Such as "As the sun rose over the valley - only recently the scene of a terrible battle - it struck silver sparks off the armour of men who were now brothers in the most final sense of the word."

    Does that sound wrong to you? I guess I could use "which had been" in place of the first dash and then a comma after battle... I think it's just a habit with me. Good or bad, je ne sais quoi.
    I believe the dashes are not grammatically wrong, but the sentence feels a bit laboured - as if it needs shortening or splitting. Commas would serve in place of the dashes. However, much depends on the surrounding text which we don't see, so the lengthier sentence may be appropriate.
    Last edited by Phil Istine; August 28th, 2019 at 04:31 AM. Reason: typo


  7. #17
    "As the sun rose over the valley, only recently the scene of a terrible battle, it struck silver sparks off the armour of men. Men who were now brothers in the most final sense of the word."
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

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