I refer to horizontal punctuation used in English writing. This guy always confuses me because I see a lot of variables on the Internet: double hyphens (--), triple hyphens (---), en dash (–), em dash (—), and another signs I don't know their names. I hardly use dashes in my writing, but if I need, I will pick em dash because it looks pretty. So, I want to know your ideas. What type of dashes do you use in your daily writing, and why?
An "en-dash" is the same thing as a keyed-in hyphen, -.
An "em-dash" is the same thing as a keyed-in double hyphen, --.
In Ye Olde Days, typing a manuscript, you typed a hyphen to tell the printer to set an en-dash, and you typed to hyphens to tell the printer to set an em-dash.
In typesetting, an "en" is a unit of length equal to the letter N, and "em" is a unit of length equal to the letter M.
In much the same way, traditional typewriters had only a single font; you could not type a word in italics. Instead, you underlined a word to tell the printer to set it in italics.
I rarely use dashes in my everyday writing but I have used it in my college papers. I have not seen the double dash for years because it was originally used by typewriters. The single dash is used to put emphasis on a "side note" that requires breaking up the sentence without creating two separate sentences, which would parse the idea you want to convey. People will use dashes also for lists in the same one would use bullet points. Examples:
He was being very obtuse which would bother others until they retreated- not me.
For a basic cream puff recipe you will need:
- a dash of salt
those in the list would be listed in a column.
Hope that helps. Have a nice weekend.