WHY USE DASHES? Noreen Malone suggests one reason for the increased use of dashes to “to our attention-deficit-disordered culture, in which we toggle between tabs and ideas and conversations all day”. Lots of dashes convey lots of changes of points of view. The effect of the current dashes is like the effect some two hundred years ago in Lawrence Sterne’s A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY. I posted here on Nick’s comment that “the liberal use of dashes on every page of Yorick’s narrative [in A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY] expresses the book’s approach to travel and to life. Yorick [the main character and narrator] uses multiple dashes to convey his changes of mind while on his travels. The pages are splashed with dashes; many sentences contain multiple dashes. Yorick changes his mind from minute to minute.”

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