A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dash/rule: En dash (BrE: En rule) –, and Em dash (BrE: En rule) —

a.   Use an en dash (not a hyphen) to indicate inclusive or continuing numbers, as in dates, page references or Scripture references.

e.g.     pp. 23–46

                  1970–73

                  January–May 1994

                  Acts 2:35–40

b.   Use an em dash (—)  to separate a string of words. Used either in pairs, or singly. Use sparingly.

i.     In pairs they mark off a parenthesis in the middle of a sentence. Some British authorities use a spaced en dash in this situation, but not all. Hence Japan Harvest will use an unspaced em dash.

e.g. After that—and in concert with that—he wants peace and prosperity for Rome.

ii.     A single em dash is used like a colon.

e.g. A display of aggression quite wasted on Pompey—which Milo knew, but did from force of habit.

iii.     Used to denote an abrupt break in thought that affects sentence structure.

e.g. “He hasn’t marched? He—which legion?”

c.    Use a 2-em dash (no space on either side) to indicate missing letters in a word.

e.g.     Melody P——k voted no.

d.   Use a 3-em dash (with space on each side) to indicate that a whole word has been omitted.  In British style, a spaced two-em is used in this situation.

e.g.     The ship left ——— in May.

e.   Note: an en dash is longer than the hyphen that you find on most keyboards. On Mac OS, an en dash is easily created using Option-hyphen; an em dash by using Option-Shift-hyphen. On Microsoft Word’s default settings, in both Windows and Macintosh versions, an em dash symbol, which is not always a true em dash from the font, is automatically produced by Autocorrect when two unspaced hyphens are entered between words (“word–word”). An en dash, which again is not always a true en dash from the font, is automatically produced when one or two hyphens surrounded by spaces are entered: (“word — word”) or (“word — word”)

Dates and times

  1. Write out the month to avoid confusion due to several different ways of writing dates across the world.

e.g. 30 September 2012 or September 30, 2012

  1. Usually the full year is given (1980s).
  2. When indicated a span of years, an en dash connects the numbers. In four-digit dates, the last two digits are repeated except within the first decade of the century. When dates span the turn of a century all four digits should be repeated.

e.g. 2013–14, 2001–2, 1998–2004.

  1. A slash or solidus is used to indicate a period that doesn’t coincide exactly with one calendar year

e.g. 2010/11

  1. For denoting morning or evening: AM/PM or a.m./p.m. should be used. British English often uses “am/pm” with no punctuation, but for this publication periods will be used.
  2. Never use st, nd, rd, or th after figures in dates.
  3. Within one article use a consistent form for dates. One of the following is suitable:

October 14, 1999

Japan Times, 12 October 2000.

The third of June 1956.

June 9 (never June 9th).

  1. Spell out times within text, however you may use digits to express an exact time.

Our youth group meets at eight-thirty.

The train departs at 7:36.

  1. 30 minutes past the hour is written “half past”.

7:30 = half past seven

  1. 15 minutes before the hour or after the hour is written “quarter to” or “quarter past”.
  2. American English uses a colon between hour and minutes. British/Commonwealth English uses a full stop.

7:30 p.m. (US) 7.30 p.m. (B/C)