Some days, I read other blogs and realise what a lousy writer I really am. (No need to comment to make me feel better about this; it's not like I'm going to stop writing.) (Also no need to comment to agree.) And I read one such blog this morning, and have added it to my blogroll, and I now share it with you:
Emdashes. If you are at all of the literary or pop-culture persuasion, go read it. And if you are wondering what an emdash is, I went and asked our nice friends at Wikipedia, and they said, "If your readers all went to school, they should know what an em dash is. And it has a space, you moron!"
So I said, "Thanks for clearing that up, Wikipedia, but you are being a bit unfair. After all, most of my friends and I went to public school. Besides, we are getting old and can't be expected to remember everything that we once knew."
And then Wikipedia grudgingly gave me this definition: "A dash is a punctuation mark. It is similar in appearance to a hyphen, but a dash is longer and it is used differently. The most common versions of the dash are the en dash (–) and the em dash (—)."
After which I said, "Thank you, Wikipedia; was that so hard?"
Then Wikipedia went off in a huff and isn't speaking to me until I ask it a really hard question.