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    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #1

    Commas and dashes

    In writing a work of fiction, is it ever permissable to use a dash after a comma?
    As in: "Mary had no idea why the dogs, cats, and even the chickens, squawking madly, were were all running straight at her, but she knew, - better than most - it could only mean trouble.

  1. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #2

    Re: Commas and dashes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakequeen View Post
    In writing a work of fiction, is it ever permissable to use a dash after a comma?
    As in: "Mary had no idea why the dogs, cats, and even the chickens, squawking madly, were were all running straight at her, but she knew, - better than most - it could only mean trouble.
    I think that very few people would even notice. In this case I would drop out the comma after "knew" -- and suggest to a student writer that she do the same -- but it is a very minor point.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Commas and dashes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakequeen View Post
    In writing a work of fiction, is it ever permissable to use a dash after a comma?
    As in: "Mary had no idea why the dogs, cats, and even the chickens, squawking madly, were were all running straight at her, but she knew, - better than most - it could only mean trouble.
    No, it's wrong, at least in this case. You should be able to remove a parenthetical phrase set off with dashes and still have a proper sentence.
    But isn't your meaning "... she knew it could only mean trouble". Why do you think a comma is needed here?

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