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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 41

    DASH usage

    "Columbus selected this imposing name for the island out of gratitude and wonder at having fount it -- he had sailed with three frail vessels more than 3000 miles for 33 days without sighting land."

    Would someone please explain why the dash in this sentence is acceptable? There's no conjunction; it's not an appositive phrase, and even if it was, it's ending the sentence, so a colon would be used. Help.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,910

    Re: DASH usage

    The dash is widely used instead of both the colon and the semi-colon by many. I think it is often used when people are not sure how to punctuate something. Personally, I would use a semi-colon there. What do you mean about the absence of a conjunction?

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 41

    Re: DASH usage

    I pictured "and" preceding the dash, but it would also be improper, right? Does anyone know of a panoramic book on punctuation and grammar, one that dwarfs all others. My writting has improved and so has my grammar, yet my confidence remains meek in calling out others' errors.

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