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Hyphenation Marks: Family Matters

Are you confused about em-dashes? Did you think an en-dash was a curly type of lettuce? And do you avoid hyphens like the plaque between the teeth?

You are not alone.

And you've come to the right place, the place where, at long last, familiarity breeds contemplation.

Meet the Hyphens
 -  Immediately above on this page (not above you, silly) you will discern your everyday hyphen, being placed between and even within words when apropos. –  Here we observe the strong and handsome en-dash, used for all spans (age, percentage, lucre, etc) in text, but not for page numbers in references. Obtained in Microsoft Word on the PC by typing [cntrl] [minus sign on number pad]; on the Mac with Word, by invoking [option] plus hyphen. —  Last but hardly least the dashing em-dash, the most virile brute of them all, the daddy of all hyphens, used to indicate pauses, many of them pregnant, in the inflection of a sentence. If it has been enabled on a PC in MS Word (under Tools-AutoCorrect Options- Autoformat- Replace hyphens (--) with dash (—), just type two hyphens without spaces before or after and as you continue on your way (typing), it will magically appear (at the following space if you like concrete data). The hard way to make an em-dash in Word on a PC is to type [alt] [cntrl] [minus sign on number pad]. As to the Mac, in this regard I reside entirely in the dark but would love to be enlightened, if only anyone could contact me. Rules, in general
Compound words
Pre- and post-ixes
Hyphenation exceptions
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