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Old 12-12-2012, 01:04 PM   #17
HarryT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhempel24 View Post
so what is the difference between the comma and the dashes, don't the both do the same thing?
Dashes are more emphatic. Use commas when the text between them is a "normal" part of the sentence, with neither more nor less emphasis than the rest of it. Use dashes when you want to make the text enclosed between them more emphatic than the rest of the sentence. Similarly, use parentheses when the enclosed text has less emphasis; think of what's in parentheses as being an "aside" to the reader.

Eg, compare:

He drove the car (very quickly) along the road.
He drove the car, very quickly, along the road.
He drove the car--very quickly--along the road.

The "very quickly" goes from "low emphasis" to "high emphasis" between these sentences.
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