Friday, August 14, 2015

Journey With The Em Dash

(Originally a comment on Chicago poet, Clara Rose Thornton's phasebuke)

I use the em dash as an explicit parenthesis - when speaking out loud something as an aside - that is incorporated into the flow of the sentence you're writing. The other use is to distinctly separate the final word/s at the very end of the sentence that a comma doesn't quite achieve - yet.

About five or six years ago i was experimenting a lot with them in my daily online creative-critical and conversational speculative-discourse writing, coming up with a theory that there's a basic four beat punctuation system with which we regulate the flow of our thoughts as they come out and we write them down on the page with which we are showing off to the Reader our intellects and imaginations.

We use a comma to halt the flow, with a quarter-beat; then you've the semi-colon a half-beat: with the colon (as British-Hungarian poet George Szirtes describes it) a 'miniature drum roll' signalling that something important is about to be announced after it: the longest pause of all. And with the period being the mark that ends it all when we start anew. Then the em dash as described - to mark an explicit aside in what is being said - (the opposite of bracket parenthesis, which is more like communicating to the Reader privately in a whisper) - and also to make the end bit of a sentence stand out because a comma doesn't quite do the job - if ye noo worra mane duk.

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