« Uncommon Knowledge: 004 | Main | And another thing... »



"The colon and the dash should ( italics) be used in con-
junction {:–}."

Well, blow me, that's another rule I'm always breaking.


Put your specs on David, is says "never" (italics) be used.

So that means you either misread the photo or miswrote your comment. Or I've got it all wrong.

Question is, do you used the colon and the dash together?


Sorry - that was me trying to be a clever bugger. I was trying to emphasise that 'never' was set in italics, so I thought I'd do so by putting fake html coding either side of the word:-

I guess Typepad doesn't like me doing that, though.

Does that answer your question?


So let me get this straight David: not only do you admit to using the hyphen where an en-rule should go, you also confess to using the colon along side the dash. A marriage made by the devil himself.

You'll be telling me next that you're left-handed.

Wait a minute...


Ah, but what I didn't tell you was that I only use the colon-dash conjunction when I'm blogging. I'd never dream of doing it in print, obviously.



Ian Morris

I have been looking into this and came across your blog (nice by the way). Based on what i've seen I'd say that colon and dash should be avoided at all costs.

Strange how people do it though really isn't it. Who's been teaching this? I don't think I was listen at school when this came up so am therefore finding out now at the age of 31 ;-)

James Penny

Hello fello orthographers/typographers,

More than two years after the most recent post i find myself on this blog page, where the permittance of a colon followed by an en/em-dash / hyphen is discussed and i find myself writing on the comments page.

While reading the (already 4 years out of date) reviewers guide to Adobe FrameMaker 8 i see on page 5/40 the same text translated into four languages (English, Greek, Russian, Hindi) and for each script at the end of each heading a colon [:] is used... except in Greek, where they use a colon and an en-dash [:-].

I found this so odd i wanted to google whether it was still, or indeed ever was, correct punctuation to use the two together, and in what contexts, and to imply what, and to separate itself (the colon and dash together i now refer to as "it") from its constituent parts.

So far, this is all i have discovered.

I'm sure i remember seeing [:-] used when i was a child, but alas, i don't see it anymore. And i am 30.

An interesting topic...

The comments to this entry are closed.