Writing for Business

Oct 3 2012   1:22PM GMT

Em dashes and spaces: AP vs. Chicago

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

I’m taking another run at yesterday’s Q&A. I was apparently wrong about being wrong. I’d been using em dashes correctly all along, if only by accident, since we loosely follow AP style on WhatIs.com. All right … here it goes again. (Pls. note correct AP-style ellipsis. YES — I learned something else already today!)

Which is correct?
1. Vendors—including Apple, Google and Microsoft—all have their own versions of auto-correct programs and, as a result, their own particular auto-correct fails.

2. Vendors — including Apple, Google and Microsoft — usually have their own versions of auto-correct programs and, as a result, their own particular auto-correct fails.

Answer: It depends on your style.

AP style is to add spaces around the em dash; Chicago style is without spaces. What happened yesterday? I found a source that seemed authoritative and went with it. But that source was following the Chicago Manual of Style. We’re (mostly) Team AP.

See AP vs. Chicago on em dashes and ellipses. Now there’s a blog for a fake grammarian to bookmark.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

 Comment on this Post

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Share this item with your network: