As recently as not long ago, I wrote about pencils and pens. I reiterated a promise to myself that I would not spend my money on expensive writing tools.

Well, so much for that noise coming out of my talker. Behold, my three-pack of Blackwing pencils. (Photo above.)
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Look at this beautiful thing: —. It is very different from this: –. It is also quite different from this: -.

I rarely employ the services of the second dash in my above list, as I am not in the business of cutting headstones. The en dash, called that because it measures the width of the lower-case n, is seen most frequently between dates: 1968–2075. (Those dates are mine; I intend to stick around for a while longer.) In the popular bumper-sticker expression, “Life is what you do with the dash between the dates on your headstone,” the “dash” is specifically an en dash. “Life is what you do with the en dash, a punctuation mark you didn’t know the name of but see all the time,” does not make for quite as inspiring a bumper sticker.

The hyphen, the third dash in my list? Well, I am a veritable hyphen sprinkler sometimes, with my frequent yoking together of terms into my own single-use modifiers. (Like there.)

The em dash and I are (don’t tell Jen) frequent companions, however.
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No Bullies. No Drama. Only Comedies on TV

The comments territory under any YouTube video is an unlighted playground with shards of glass for sliding boards and a ball-pit full of barbed wire. There is no “thumbs-down” or dislike button available on Facebook, for obvious reasons. Comments are certainly allowed, and often the prevailing rhetorical mode is insult and injury.

Twitter may as well be one big dislike button sometimes. Not in my experience so far, except for two or three times. Each one of these is etched in my co-dependent memory, however.

When I started publishing on WordPress a year an a half ago, I wondered: What will it be like to have my work exposed to a comments section?
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