Grammar Blog: Week 6: – or -?


Guys, I had no idea morse code was a part of modern Grammar. It’s the only place where I found all of the – (Not T’s, but – and – obviously). It seems just a little anachronistic to use this form of communication when we have other forms of communication. I can’t even recall the last time I thought about using my phone to transmit an SOS in morse code. Am I also expected to have



It’s a little much to expect me to use a form of communication that went out of favor in 1999.

Wait… (S)



Oh, this isn’t suddenly a morse code Grammar class.

Well someone should have told me we were talking about – and -, not – and -. Reading context on the Internet is once again proven to be really difficult.

So let’s talk about and leave on the side for now.

Does anyone really think about their hyphen use? Do you keep up-to-date? Once you’ve taken a look at it, it doesn’t seem too difficult. You might have spent one-third of a minute in a trance-like state considering what a hyphen does, but you’ve figured it out by now.

hyphens are used to join two words or parts of words together while avoiding confusion or ambiguity.

Although like most thing in English,

Consult your dictionary if you are not sure if a hyphen is required in a compound word, but remember that current usage may have shifted since your dictionary was published.

Of course.

Dashes seem even more ambiguous in their use. This may not be true in practice for most people, but for one such as I, it can be confusing. I’ve never really dug the use of dashes. I wouldn’t say I avoided them, but I don’t usually think of a situation where I should use one.

You may not think it could be confusing – it is.

This may or may not be an example – you never know.

You may have been the wind beneath my wings – maybe.

If my glowing not-so-obvious examples were not enough then let definitions enlighten your dashing mind.

Dashes can be used to add parenthetical statements or comments in much the same way as you would use brackets.

Alright, that doesn’t seem so bad, I bet you could use this in any situ-

In formal writing, you should use the bracket rather than the dash as a dash is considered less formal.


But most important of all, when I think of dashes, this comes to mind:

Dashes can be used to create emphasis in a sentence.

In the approximately ninety-one-billion-years I’ve spent thinking about hyphens and dashes, I hope my research helped in some small way – you never know.