In the digital age, we’re always quickly typing and sending off texts, emails, and reports but pay little attention to the proper use and role of typography and grammar. When the typewriter was invented, many of the traditional typographic symbols were left off the keyboard to save space. This eventually translated to the modern keyboards we all use every day. As a result, many of us default to what’s directly in front of us on the keyboard and don’t give a second thought to whether we’re correctly using those punctuation marks. Below are some quick examples of how to correctly use all the different types of dashes.
We’ll be tailgating at the TCU–SMU game.
use in place of versus
The office will be closed December 29–January 1.
We’re planning an open house for 150–200 people.
shows a range
The Dallas–LA flight is delayed.
link points on a travel route
Hard work and dedication is what it’s all about.
attribution of a quote
Thank you—each and every one of you.
use without spaces to create a pause
use to set numbers
use in place of a hyphen or minus sign (it’s a holdover from typewriters)