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Usage of em dash The paragraph below is from The Art of the Essayist by A. C. Benson, concerning the last part of which I have an unsure point (bracketed between[]). 1 One does not go to an essayist with a desire for information, or with an expectation of finding a clear statement of a complicated subject; that is not the mood in which one takes up a volume of essays. What one rather expects to find is a companionable treatment of that vast mass of little problems and floating ideas which are aroused and evoked by our passage through the world, our daily employment, our leisure hours, our amusements and diversions, and above all by our relations with other people — [all the unexpected, inconsistent, various simple stuff of life.]Q. How should I interpret the part between []? I inferred the em dash(—) here may assume a role like "namely" or "that is", but could not proceed farther. I just supposed it might be the restatement of "that vast mass of little problems and floating ideas" or "our passage through the world, our daily employment, our leisure hours, our amusements and diversions, and above all by our relations with other people", yet I'm quite unsure. Thank you for reading to this end. Perhaps you would explain.
2 ต.ค. 2017 เวลา 5:17
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Answers · 4
Yes, it is a restatement of everything from "that vast mass" through "other people." The em dash here duplicates the pause in oral speech the precedes the speaker summarizing or rephrasing a long thought. Visually, it is a cue that the writer has shifted from a long description to an "in other words" type of summation.
2 ตุลาคม 2017
Satomi_N
Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language
English