Revisiting the Em-dash etc. (originally published here on Sometimes as: Punctuation Police please protect QWERTY (ReBlog from 2016.)

I —  how does one make an em dash— or is that even possible in the cyber-age?  Did the punctuation-police conspire to deprive us “typists” from the olden days of basic qwerty functions?

Ah-ha!   Since time immemorial all that was needed to make an em-dash  was to type the hyphen key twice—but now the mark can be accomplished by hitting the hyphen key three times.  In the instructional hits that came up when I did a search on Google—which is not current—advise that there was a complicated procedure involving the CTRL/ALT and MINUS key… the minus-key on the numerical keyboard…

If ya ask me, the punctuation-police are not writers.   Writers use the em-dash, and it’s OK to hit the hypen key three times, but that other CTRL/ALT business is for the birds.  We had enough of that back in the C/PM days and the World of the C:/ prompt.

A few minutes ago I read an interesting article written by Michelle Cook over at her blog. by    Michelle is discussing Amazon’s new feature which provides a button that can be pushed when we run out of some essential…like toothpaste…and it places an instant order which is filled and shipped automatically!  Imagine that!

Well here is something even MORE scary… A few weeks ago I decided to investigate second mortgages.  I followed some Google prompts and came to a reputable name that I recognized, then pushed the button for  information.   This led to two major firms in my area.  I indicated that I would like some information.   Well—before I finished filling telephone-information into the form—the phone rang.  Guess what?   Yep, it was one of the financial firms.   I remarked about how fortuitous it was that they were calling just when I was seeking information.   “Oh, what a coincidence…”

That isn’t all, either… while I was on the telephone line a message popped up that I had another call….guess who!?  Yep, the other recommendation.  I later noticed that there were emails from both of these telephone callers…plus some other similar financial businesses.

I don’t like that!  That means somehow through the wonders of cyber-world those firms were notified of my inquiry … by computer BEFORE I had even finished the query.     I know…they do it all the time…and the television people too.  Bah humbug!



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