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  1. #1
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is online now Senior Member
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    Default Russia and China - two of ...



    Russia and China - two of the five permanent members of the Security Council- have vetoed resolutions that sought to put concerted pressure on Damascus to end the conflict and agree to a political transition.

    Source: Turkish PM slams UN Security Council over Syria - Israel News, Ynetnews


    Why are hyphens being used in the above text?

    Last edited by Odessa Dawn; 13-Oct-2012 at 21:32. Reason: Correction!

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post


    Russia and China - two of the five permanent members of the Security Council - have vetoed resolutions that sought to put concerted pressure on Damascus to end the conflict and agree to a political transition.

    Source: Turkish PM slams UN Security Council over Syria - Israel News, Ynetnews


    Why are hyphens being used in the above text?

    There aren't any hyphens. The dashes after the word "China" and "Council" are there to separate the part which explains that those two countries are two of the permanent members of the Security Council. The writer could have used brackets instead around that section.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post


    Russia and China - two of the five permanent members of the Security Council- have vetoed resolutions that sought to put concerted pressure on Damascus to end the conflict and agree to a political transition.

    Source: Turkish PM slams UN Security Council over Syria - Israel News, Ynetnews


    Why are hyphens being used in the above text?

    They are not hyphens. They are meant to be dashes.
    " ... China -- two of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- have ... "


  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,

    I most respectfully suggest that the person who wrote that sentence accidentally got confused between hyphens and

    dashes.

    I believe that it should be written:

    Russia and China -- two of the permanent members of the Security Council -- have vetoed ....

    As you know, parentheses could also be used for this extra but grammatically unnecessary information:

    Russia and China (two of the permanent members of the Security Council) have vetoed ....

    In my very humble opinion, Ynet News used dashes because it was confident that its readers already knew that

    Russia and China are permanent Council members. The writer just wanted to remind his / her readers.

    But if the writer felt that s/he were writing for people who might not already know this information. s/he might write:

    Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council, have vetoed ....




    James

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I most respectfully suggest that the person who wrote that sentence accidentally got confused between hyphens and dashes.
    I suggest that the person who wrote that sentence, like many of us, had not the slightest knowledge of the difference between hyphens and dashes (em or en). If you are writing for publication, your editor will impose his/her publisher's rules. If you are not writing for publication, don't worry. (Just my personal thought.)
    Last edited by 5jj; 15-Oct-2012 at 08:08. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    I'm quite familiar with both em-dashes and en-dashes, as well as hyphens. Sometimes I am lazy and use a hyphen when I mean an em-dash myself. What you say about your publishing making it fit their style is completely correct. It doesn't pay to get wrapped around the axle if you know what it is SUPPOSED to be.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I'm quite familiar with both em-dashes and en-dashes, as well as hyphens. Sometimes I am lazy and use a hyphen when I mean an em-dash myself. What you say about your publishing making it fit their style is completely correct. It doesn't pay to get wrapped around the axle if you know what it is SUPPOSED to be.
    Sure, so do most of us use hyphens for dashes occasionally. But we leave a space on either side so that it cannot be a hyphen.
    "Russia and China-two of the five ..." is not acceptable.



  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    I don't know about anyone else but I don't have a key on my keyboard which technically serves as a dash. The hyphen key simply types a hyphen. As Raymott said, if I want a hyphen then I use that key immediately between two words but without any spaces:

    low-key

    and if I want a dash, I put it between two words but with a space either side of the mark:

    Russia and China - two leading members of the International Space Organisation - are going to build a space station.

    When using MS Word, it seems to automatically recognise whether I want a hyphen or a dash, based on the spacing around it, and makes the mark longer or shorter as appropriate.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    I do the same and, to be fair to the writer of the article, they did the same. If my word processor sorts the hyphen/dash out automatically, fine, but on the web I just use spaces rather than --.

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia and China - two of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I do the same and, to be fair to the writer of the article, they did the same. If my word processor sorts the hyphen/dash out automatically, fine, but on the web I just use spaces rather than --.
    I agree. I have never used --
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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