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March 4, 2010
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I don't think you can simply 'do away' with an m-dash because you think it is ugly! What's next in the beauty pageant of grammar? Should the semi-colon be nervous? who died and made the hyphen the fairest of them all?
Regardless of how the things look on the page, they are to effectively communicate ideas, thoughts and expressions. Don't gag yourself by getting rid of punctuation just because it is buck-toothed or balding.
For the record, I use m-dashes with space at either side otherwise it looks like you are linking rather than separating. I understand US usage may be different.
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