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Use dashes to indicate an abrupt shift in the thought of a sentence or to set off an informal parenthetical element.
Use dashes to set off an appositive or parenthetical element which is internally punctuated.
- Harvey decided to go to--but you wouldn't be interested.
- Cecil told me--can you believe it?--that he preferred the leading brand.
- At the age of three--ah, to be three again--Sammy could wiggle his ears.
Use dashes to set off a loosely connected sentence element when you want to emphasize the element set off.
- His friends--Kermit, Buzz, and Bruce--are spending the day here.
- Citizens want information--not a sales job--about the hazards of dredging the bay.