The Em Dash (The Little Black Dress of Punctuation)

I want to introduce you to my favorite dash—the em dash!

Here’s how describes my punctuation BFF: “An em dash is the width of an m. Use an em dash sparingly in formal writing. In informal writing, em dashes may replace commas, semicolons, colons, and parentheses to indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought.”

It’s like the little black dress of punctuation; it goes with everything! Ok, sure…the serious grammarians will remind us again and again to use it sparingly, especially in formal writing. But for conversational blog writing, it’s appropriate.
If you want to change things up and use the em dash, here’s how to type it (according to How to Type):
On Windows:
Hold down the ALT key and type 0151 on the keypad

On Mac OS:
Hold down the Shift and Option keys then press the minus key


“%151;” (Don’t include the parenthesis, but I can’t type the code without WordPress turning it into the em dash!)