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Do I Need Another Endash Here? (1 Viewer)

TheMightyAz

Mentor
On this occasion, Sid agreed to be nothing more than a passenger. If Josephine stood any chance of passing herself off as your average pregnant woman, the last thing she wanted was to blunder through patrons Frankenstein’s monster-esque. She drew puzzled and disapproving looks regardless, as she waddled her fit-to-pop payload to the bar, and ordered an orange juice.

All I need to know is what's the usual format for something like this? Because it's related to 'Frankenstein's' should there be an endash between that and 'monster'?

'Frankenstein's-monster-esque'

Or is it down to personal taste? Also, is there a term for something like this?
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
First, you wouldn't be properly discussing an en dash, the question would be for a hyphen.

Second, "esque" is a suffix, not a word. It doesn't need a hyphen.

No, you would not put a hyphen after "Frankenstein's", because they are not adjectives immediately preceding a noun, where neither adjective makes sense standing alone.

"The battered yellow sign warned of the dead-end road."

No hyphen at the beginning, because "battered sign" and "yellow sign" both work. Hyphen at the end because neither "dead road" nor "end road" makes much sense.

Finally, I think the end of that sentence is awkward and needs some work. You're trying to crowd just a bit much in there.

This is a case that exemplifies why I encourage writers to seek out resources to study these things. People ask it here, they might get an answer from someone who knows the territory, or they might not. But we can find a wealth of solid articles which explain a particular element in detail, written by people who are experts. There is serious conversation going on about bringing such articles to WF once the new software is launched. I think that will be an outstanding feature for the site as it grows.

ETA: En dashes are used for this like sports scores and date ranges. Most people are going to use a hyphen anyway with no notice taken.
 
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TheMightyAz

Mentor
First, you wouldn't be properly discussing an en dash, the question would be for a hyphen.

Second, "esque" is a suffix, not a word. It doesn't need a hyphen.

No, you would not put a hyphen after "Frankenstein's", because they are not adjectives immediately preceding a noun, where neither adjective makes sense standing alone.

"The battered yellow sign warned of the dead-end road."

No hyphen at the beginning, because "battered sign" and "yellow sign" both work. Hyphen at the end because neither "dead road" nor "end road" makes much sense.

Finally, I think the end of that sentence is awkward and needs some work. You're trying to crowd just a bit much in there.

This is a case that exemplifies why I encourage writers to seek out resources to study these things. People ask it here, they might get an answer from someone who knows the territory, or they might not. But we can find a wealth of solid articles which explain a particular element in detail, written by people who are experts. There is serious conversation going on about bringing such articles to WF once the new software is launched. I think that will be an outstanding feature for the site as it grows.

Ah, of course, it's a hyphen! Cheers. So I shouldn't even use a hyphen when using 'esque'? Interesting. I didn't know that. You know where I stand on your last points, but I will, as always, reconsider whether it has the desired effect in the final rewrites. :) 'like Frankenstein's monster' doesn't sound as funny to me.

Cheers!
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
I'm not saying to lose the description you like, just rearrange things. As written, at first glance it read to me like patrons might be possessive, but on second reading I understood it was not. That's what you want to avoid, making people read it twice to suss it out.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I'm not saying to lose the description you like, just rearrange things. As written, at first glance it read to me like patrons might be possessive, but on second reading I understood it was not. That's what you want to avoid, making people read it twice to suss it out.

Got you! Good catch. I'll rethink that for certain. CHEERS! This is why I need to understand grammar better. 90% of the time I can see if it works or not but sometimes something like this slips through the net.

Maybe: 'If Josephine stood any chance of passing herself off as your average pregnant woman, the last thing she wanted was to blunder Frankenstein’s monsteresque through a crowded room.'

I'll work on it. I need a better word than 'blunder' there though. 'clomp' is maybe funnier? And fits the monster better.
 
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vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Got you! Good catch. I'll rethink that for certain. CHEERS! This is why I need to understand grammar better. 90% of the time I can see if it works or not but sometimes something like this slips through the net.

Maybe: 'If Josephine stood any chance of passing herself off as your average pregnant woman, the last thing she wanted was to blunder Frankenstein’s monsteresque through a crowded room.'

I'll work on it. I need a better word that 'blunder' there though. 'clomp' maybe funnier? And fit the monster better.

Here's where we can work in your dashes!

Put em dashes around --Frankenstein's monsteresque--

That breaks it out so the reader isn't having to trundle through the long sentence without a pause, plus emphasizes the phrase you like. You could also do it with commas. Here's where we get into "how I do things", though, so don't take it as gospel. I prefer commas for their normal use in separating clauses and ordering adjectives, and for minor prepositional phrases in the middle of a sentence. If I have a big phrase--or an important idea--to break out, I use em dashes. (See how I oh so cleverly worked it in right there!) :) I also try to make sure my sentence reads correctly if you completely omit contents of the em dashes.

However, the stuff I put in em dashes IS important. If it's a frivolous aside I use parenthesis.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Here's where we can work in your dashes!

Put em dashes around --Frankenstein's monsteresque--

That breaks it out so the reader isn't having to trundle through the long sentence without a pause, plus emphasizes the phrase you like. You could also do it with commas. Here's where we get into "how I do things", though, so don't take it as gospel. I prefer commas for their normal use in separating clauses and ordering adjectives, and for minor prepositional phrases in the middle of a sentence. If I have a big phrase--or an important idea--to break out, I use em dashes. (See how I oh so cleverly worked it in right there!) :) I also try to make sure my sentence reads correctly if you completely omit contents of the em dashes.

However, the stuff I put in em dashes IS important. If it's a frivolous aside I use parenthesis.

Yeah, I keep reading it and that long phrase kinda just hangs there, dragging the flow down. I'll add those emdashes.
 
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