[Grammar] What is this symbol called?

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Dawood Usmani

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What is this symbol :- called and where do we use it?
Can anyone explain please?
 

Raymott

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What is this symbol :- called and where do we use it?
Can anyone explain please?
I don't think it's an English symbol. I've never used it, and don't recall ever having seen it used (in proper text).
I'd call it a colon followed by a hyphen.
Where did you find it?
 

JTRiff

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It's an unlikely combination. It's possibly just a sideways smileface-type thingie, like : )

:)

:-

I have no mouth and I must scream! (Harlan Ellison)
 

Tdol

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It's redundant or overkill punctuation IMO.
 

Rover_KE

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When I was at school we used to call it two dots and a dash.

You might still see some people use it to introduce a list rather than a colon alone.

'These boys will stay behind after school:- Prosser, Latham, Macy and Duffy'.

Rover
 

bhaisahab

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When I was at school we used to call it two dots and a dash.

You might still see some people use it to introduce a list rather than a colon alone.

'These boys will stay behind after school:- Prosser, Latham, Macy and Duffy'.

Rover
Yes, I remember "two dots and a dash" too.
 

emsr2d2

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Yes, I remember "two dots and a dash" too.

Me too. I remember thinking it was odd that it didn't have a name of its own and it seems to be out of fashion these days.
 

Dawood Usmani

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What's the conclusion now? Does it still exist in English? What does it function? Shall we continue to teach our children or not? Is it a part of English punctuation marks or not? If we use it in academic writing, will it not lead to marks being deducted?
 

Raymott

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What's the conclusion now? Does it still exist in English? What does it function? Shall we continue to teach our children or not? Is it a part of English punctuation marks or not? If we use it in academic writing, will it not lead to marks being deducted?
From the information given - and perhaps I even remember it very vaguely from school (my memory isn't what it used to be!) - it's an old-fashioned version of the simple colon :)).
I'd suggest not using it, not teaching it, and using a colon instead.
 

bewise

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:-, this punctuation mark is no longer in use. It is now replaced by the colon :)).
 

Rover_KE

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:-, this punctuation mark is no longer in use.

Oh yes, it is.

It is in use by people who were taught to use it and see no reason to change the habit of a lifetime.

Students should be made aware that they might encounter it as introducing a list - a purpose for which a colon is now used.

Rover
 

Dawood Usmani

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Oh yes, it is.

It is in use by people who were taught to use it and see no reason to change the habit of a lifetime.

Students should be made aware that they might encounter it as introducing a list - a purpose for which a colon is now used.

Rover

Quite confusing. Well, if it is an English punctuation mark and has been used by learned people for many years, why can't I find it in any authentic grammar book or grammar site. I have done a lot of research on this but I have been unable to find a single authentic proof even wikipedia is silent about this.
 

emsr2d2

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Quite confusing. Well, if it is an English punctuation mark and has been used by learned people for many years, why can't I find it in any authentic grammar book or grammar site. I have done a lot of research on this but I have been unable to find a single authentic proof even wikipedia is silent about this.

I'm rather surprised about the lack of info on it on the internet - I've looked too! We certainly used it for years at my school and sometimes I still do, though probably not in formal writing.
 

Dawood Usmani

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I'm rather surprised about the lack of info on it on the internet - I've looked too! We certainly used it for years at my school and sometimes I still do, though probably not in formal writing.

Maybe it is old-fasioned now and most people avoid using it in their writing.
 

emsr2d2

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Maybe it is old-fasioned now and most people avoid using it in their writing.

Oh, I'm sure that's true and I think I remarked on that possibility in a previous post. I'm still surprised that more people haven't heard of it/used it. I'm so intrigued that I'm now running a thread on my Facebook page to find out how many of my friends remember it!
 

emsr2d2

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Well, it's interesting what running a poll of your friends elicits! Most of my friends (who replied) on Facebook remember using it but only one of them still does so.

It was apparently called a "hyphenated colon" and has clearly fallen out of use.

One of my friends sent me here - the first sentence is certainly very emphatic about it!
 

Dawood Usmani

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Well, it's interesting what running a poll of your friends elicits! Most of my friends (who replied) on Facebook remember using it but only one of them still does so.

It was apparently called a "hyphenated colon" and has clearly fallen out of use.

One of my friends sent me here - the first sentence is certainly very emphatic about it!

Thanks, emsr2d2.
You've been very helpful.
 
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