Last week we discussed the use of serial commas. I was slightly surprised to find the poll currently shows that 60% of respondents agree with my stance – I thought the ‘always use serial commas’ camp would win it. The poll is still open if you would like to join in.
My blog’s style sheet is beginning to take shape, but I have another style decision to put to you:
Do you prefer parenthetical content to be marked by en rules or em rules? (If you have opted for dashes instead of commas or brackets.)
My preference is to mark it with spaced en rules like this:
The paint – a horrible shade of green – dripped on the carpet.
But it is also common to mark it with closed up em rules like this:
The paint—a horrible shade of green—dripped on the carpet.
I think spaced en rules look cleaner, and many British publishers use them. However, most US publishers use closed up em rules.
What do you think? It’s poll time! (Please vote – it makes me happy.)
- New Hart’s Rules: The Oxford Style Guide