You have a Sexy Dash

My favorite punctuation would be the dash—it’s sexy—and it can do so many things in a sentence.  A dash may make a reader pause.  A dash may separate a little inside joke.  A dash may refer to some statement in the past or one to come.  A dash can make a statement within a statement.  It is longer than a hyphen and is not used in individual words.  Also, a dash is used in pairs, this is important to know.  It becomes part of a sentence, but may have nothing to do with what the sentence is about.  Perhaps I can be clearer with some writing examples.

While sitting in the uncomfortable, wooden chair doing homework I noticed a small, black bug walk nimbly across my notebook—having six legs makes one nimble—headed for the other half of my cupcake.  I was grossed-out at the thought of the bug nibbling on my cupcake and rolled up my new magazine—US Weekly—to squash him before he reached his goal.  Another way I enjoy using a dash is to throw random thoughts into my essays.  I have random thoughts often—shocking right—that if they were written down would need a dash or perhaps parenthesis.  Parenthesis just aren’t sexy—they’re chubby—so I don’t use them often.  Honestly, I don’t use the dash that often in one essay—this paper being the exception—because the dash can be overused and take away from the written material.

Another reason I like the dash so much…it looks like it is lying down, resting, holding together a few words but not working too hard.  They are laid-back; chilling like it is nap time on paper.  They are the opposite of the punctuation that I most relate to personally, the exclamation point.  I can relate to the exclamation point because much of my life seems to be an exclamation of some type.  When I write, I try to relay my personality and voice.  I like to shock people.  I want to get people interested in what I’m writing.  I need to express myself in a way that is true to my personality.  Creative nonfiction has me hooked—like crack yo—and I am not afraid to let my voice be heard.  It is liberating to write your thoughts and feelings, in your own words, and share them with the world.  The rewarding part is watching a following of your words grow and getting feedback from those readers.

Every time I open my online journal—nearly daily—I get a “high” from reading the stats of my site.  My entries vary from school related to personal stories and each is unique because of my voice.  My exclamation point voice has a way of surfacing in nearly every paper I write.  Even when proposing papers, I lean towards subjects that will not only evoke emotions from my professor but also provoke.  Life is too short to not take chances—cliché, I know—but it is true.  It is the risky papers that I take on as challenges that make my professors remember me long after acing their class.  So, while I love the sexy dash, I live to be the exclamation point!


  1. I also love the sexy dash. Often I get a little too dash happy…I also like these…..

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