The em-dash.

The em-dash

“The ‘em’ dash.

What is—“

“It?” you asked for me,

finishing off my sentence,

as you always did.

“I shall tell—“

“Me!” you spoke, with such confidence that it seemed a shame to correct—

“You!” I finished. “But ‘touché’ for using the ‘em-dash’ correctly” — at this, your body, slumping, resumed posture somewhat— “in that instance.” I considered my next few words, you watching with anticipatory eagerness, just to ensure that my grammatical armour was protecting my punctuational Achilles Heel.

“The ‘em-dash’”, I here drew an example upon the blackboard, is a double dash that signifies interrupted speech. It can also be used, as I did just now, to insert a thought, or comment, into a line of dialogue. Is that—“

“Clear? Yes, miss, as clear as a… like a—“

“Clear thing? We shall discuss similes and metaphors in the next lesson. We shall learn like scholars, and be giants.”

“Thanks, Miss.”


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