11 Comments

Thank you for this lovely opinion piece! I have encountered all too many people who think the mere humble and glorious semicolon is too much. I will begin sending them compound-dashes now when given the chance.

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I enjoy how forthright your opinions are, and suppose more variable punctuation makes a text seem richer on the page. I'm less persuaded that the examples given couldn't read just as well with a dash, colon, semi-colon or even a full stop.

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This is the piece I didn't know I needed. I've noticed how much Austen's use of the compound-dash is part of her genius! I'm planning to spend next year reading nothing but Austen and Woolf to study their punctuation style.

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Jun 7, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver

Well reasoned, but I’m not convinced that circumstances could ever require a colon dash over a dash--let the natural flavor of the words and their syntax prevail over the exoticism of such an anachronistic spice : )

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Ah Melville is the master here I think! If added punctuation can add rhythm or subtle meaning, I’m all for it. Lovely details to consider here especially in regards to the colon.

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