# i just wanted them on my dash and i'm too lazy to edit

I never really thought of it before, but do you know the prober use of n- and m-dashes, I'm not sure I fully understand it?

I do! And I’m so glad you came to me for an answer! I hope you’ll indulge me a full exploration.

The Chicago Manual of Style, which is a slightly-longer-than-1,000-page book on grammar and its proper usage, is one of the main guides that publishing houses use to ensure consistent usage across all their published works. It’s a behemoth of a book and sometimes difficult to understand, but it’s a great place to start for technicalities like this, and I still happen to have my copy of the most recent 16th edition from my time at a press.

## The technical nitty-gritty:

The CMS defines em dashes and en dashes as the following:

em dash: A short typographical rule measuring the width of an em.

en dash: A short typographical rule measuring the width of an en.

Excellent. And completely unhelpful, thank you CMS.

Both of these definitions require understanding what an em and an en are, respectively, so let’s define those. Now, typefaces, or fonts, are measured in points, right–the default most folks go with is 12pt font. “Points” are how we measure the space each letter takes up within that font, and 1 point measures 1/72″ (0.01384 of an inch, if you want to be precise). Okay, that in mind:

em: A unit of type (font) measurement equal to the point size of the type (font) in question. If you’re typing in 12pt font, then your em is the length of 12 points.

en: A unit of type (font) measurement half the size of an em. If you’re typing in 12pt font and your em is 12 points, then your en is half that: 6 points.

Now, as units of measurement, em and en often help to define the length of various things in typed and printed materials. There are em spaces, en dashes, etc, and in the end, all it means is that one is double the length of the other. And then, of course, you’ve got hyphens which are even shorter than en dashes. So what’s the point? Why do we use them and when? (And this time I’m not talking about font size.)

## When do we use hyphens?

Hyphens are generally used to create compound modifiers. When we’re describing another thing such as a country that speaks English, it can be described as an English-speaking country. The reason it becomes a compound modifier and gets hyphenated is because when we take each part of the modifier and apply them separately to the thing they’re describing (English country, and speaking country), they are either incorrect, don’t make sense, or don’t accurately describe the sentiment behind the statement. They must be together to be accurate and correct, so they get hyphenated together (English-speaking).

Take one more example: The description “a dictionary-wielding professor” in a sentence would not be “a dictionary wielding professor” because the professor is neither “a dictionary professor” nor “a wielding professor.” They are instead a professor wielding a dictionary, therefore the compound modifier should be hyphenated.

The same concept applies with a phrasal descriptor such as “a never-before-seen magic.” It is magic, and it is also never-before-seen, but it’s neither a never magic nor a seen magic; the entire descriptor is “never-before-seen.” Or “a dog-eat-dog competition,” as the CMS provides.

Of course, there are a bunch of other reasons to use hyphens, too, including enhancing readability for some words whose prefixes make the word unwieldy, but compound modifiers are usually the most complicated for writers.

## When do we use en dashes?

MOST COMMON USAGE: ranges such as dates, times, page numbers, etc.

Mostly, en dashes get used in place of “up to and including” for things like dates, times, and page numbers. Things like, “Read chapters 11–16,” uses an en dash, and also with number ranges where the range is unfinished, such as birth and death dates where the death is unknown or hasn’t occurred: Emma Bull (1954–).

The en dash can also be used when talking about institutions of higher education who have the same name, but different campuses: Minnesota State University–Moorhead and Minnesota State University–Mankato.

The CMS does specify some usages of the en dash with compound adjectives like hyphens, however it’s an editorial nicety and not something to worry about. It’s very technical when you can do this, so stick with hyphens and if an editor wants to change it, that’s their prerogative. In fact, the CMS states: “Ensuring proper use of the en dash is usually considered the manuscript editor’s responsibility; authors can generally avoid the en dash and use hyphens instead” (CMS 2.13, pg. 60). Hyphens are the way to go with compound adjectives.

## When do we use em dashes?

MOST COMMON USAGE: off-setting/emphasizing information such as an aside or where parentheses might also be used || interruptions of thought and/or dialogue.

Em dashes are the most common of dashes (the hyphen not actually qualifying as a dash specifically). It gets used “to set off an amplifying or explanatory element and in that sense can function as an alternative to parentheses, commas, and colons—especially when an abrupt break in thought is called for” (CMS 6.82, pg. 333). The em dash is what’s used in pretty much everything, and probably any writing post I’ve ever written has one, given that I type much the way I speak. Anytime you put in two hyphens, Microsoft Word often corrects this to an em dash, and whenever I type two dashes in my posts, I mean an em dash, I’m just too lazy to do the Alt-code to actually put in the em dash.

Whether you choose to use em dashes or parentheses for your asides in your narratives is up to you and your personal style. I know that I flip flop back and forth depending on what feels right, but as long as you’re consistent within your own work, you’re fine with either one.

Additionally, we sometimes have sentence that’re phrased in a way where neither side is a complete sentence, and where a comma might be one way to punctuate it. A writer may choose to use an em dash to emphasize it instead: “Darkness, thunder, a sudden scream—nothing alarmed the child.” Sometimes names are also offset this way in sentences: “Alie—that was her name, wasn’t it?”

Sudden breaks in thought or purposeful breaks in sentences such as interruptions or a rephrasing of thought can use an em dash, too: “Will he—can he—recover?” “I don’t know! I just thought, maybe—” “Maybe? He might?”

Question marks and exclamation marks can precede an em dash, but commas, colons, and semicolons never do. Periods very rarely do. Instead, em dashes take the place of those commas, colons, semicolons, and periods.

Some European writing standards use em dashes in place of dialogue quotation marks, indicating new speakers at the beginning of the dialogue:

—Where are we going?
—South. That’s where the ports are, and we need a boat.

## Other em dashes:

MOST COMMON USAGE: missing or omitted words || bibliographies.

There are also 2-em dashes and 3-em dashes.

2-em dashes are used in omitted words such as expletives, names, or missing words, word parts, or illegible words: “Lady R——, whose home on the banks of the Guileless —— was the most elegant of those at the time.”

The 3-em dash appears pretty much exclusively in bibliographies, representing the same author or editor named in the preceding entry, and ONLY for an author or editor.

So there you go, my curious friend. Mostly, you’re using em dashes.

If you’re curious, an en dash’s keyboard code is ALT-0150 and an em dash’s code is ALT-0151. What appears as a key on your keyboard is a hyphen. Most computers replace two hyphens with an em dash, and if it doesn’t it’s generally accepted typing slang for it.

Hopefully that’s clarified it a little bit, even inside all the technical definitions. Let me know if I can help with any more examples or if I can describe it in another way. Thanks for the question!

I'm new to the Regina Mills fandom and I want to make friends with other fans. I figure Tumblr is the best way but I don't know how to start??? What do I do first? Who do I follow? How do I make friends??

Hello, dear one!

Making friends on tumblr is great because it’s so easy!

Here’s what you can do:

- Just go into people’s inboxes and say Hi. What you did right now is already such a great first step! Of course, it’s more fun when it’s off anon, but I have one absolutely lovely but very shy friend who messages me on anon all the time and I appreciate my “lovely anon” to bits, so if you’re very shy, feel free to send nice anons to people and wait until you feel comfortable and welcome before you reveal yourself.
- if you enjoy fanfic/fan art/meta, reblog someone’s work and leave some nice words in the tags. I promise you they’ll see it and appreciate every single thing you’ve got to say and sometimes, someone will message you thanking you for your feedback and you can start a discussion that way! :)
- do a mixture of the first two and leave some nice words about someone’s fic/art/meta in their inbox. Tell them about your favorite part or ask them a question about it.
- join in discussions that you see on your dash. Now, this one takes a bit of courage but is a great way to get to know people!
- Just tell someone whose blog you really like that… well, you really like their blog :D
- message new followers thanking them for the follow
- reach out to people who post about something that’s going on in their lives. Just offer a virtual hug and support. It can mean the world to someone!

Now, about people to follow. Where do I start?

This will turn into a very extensive blog list, so I hope you don’t mind me taking the chance to turn this into my follow forever of sorts (crappy header and all!).

1) Meta

2) Fic

- OQ

- SQ

- Multi/Other

@sgtmac7@onhowtobecrazy@freifraufischer@evilythedwarf, @oparu, @kuromikoneko (dq), @cest-toi-qui-vois (evil charming)

3) Art/Manips

4) Gifs/Edits

… and some generally nice peeps that I enjoy seeing on my dash (some of which post their own fic on occasion, too):

… and probably lots of other wonderful people that I’m missing because my brain is a colander and lots of things fall through.

I hope this list is a good starting point for you blog, dear anon. Have a great day!

How did you make your inukag edit for KagoMay? I swear its fucking amazing * A *

Omg I can’t believe yall liked it so much ಥ⌣ಥ Ok well I’ll explain how I made it (assuming you know how to make a basic gif) ! It’s pretty simple, you just need a little bit of patience.

So first of all I made 3 small gifs like usual. I set the dimensions to 100x100 (I had to crop it before because the size of the height and the width has to be the same before you resize it to 100px) and I colored them a little bit too, so they wouldn’t look too pixelated and when I saved them. So now I have little gifs like this:

Then I opened a new file in photoshop and set the dimension to 500x170 and then I opened the three little gifs I just made. Now when you want to put many gifs into one big gif you have to make sure they all have the same amount of frames, so just find which gif as the lowest amount of frames and then delete frames on the 2 other gifs to match this number. This is probably the trickiest part. You can either remove frames from the beginning or the end of your gif or if you have wayyy too many frames in one of your gif well you can do what I call the “keep one, delete one” frame technique, so your number of frames will be halved.

Ok, now that your mini gifs are ready what you’re going to do is click on this little button here:

And you’ll click on “Select all frames”. Now you can go back to your blank file and make sure you have your animation bar (just click on Windows > Animation). Now select the first frame and then click on the same little button and click on “Paste frames”. Now a window will open and you’ll click on “Paste on selection”. Now the frames of your gif will be in your new file. I suggest you gather those frames in a folder because it’ll be easier to move them around. Click on this button :

then select all the frames of your gif by clicking on the first one then maj + click on the last one and then drag them onto the folder icon. Now you can click on your folder and move it around (on your image) and it’ll move all the frames of your gif at the same time! Then I did the same thing for the other two mini gifs.

To add an image over your gifs click on File > Place.. and choose the image you want (the background has to be transparent). And then you put the layer of your image over the folder of your gifs like this:

Yeah I gave names to the folders so it’s easier to differentiate them lol. Oh and the stuff under the layer of the image are the effects I added to the image (in this case it’s a shadow). To do this, simply click on the little “fx” button at the bottom of the image and choose the effect you want to add. Now it looks like this:

Then I added a picture as the background (set it as the bottom layer, under everything else), I added a psd on top of everything and I added the border on the mini gifs but that’s too long to explain lmao. When you do all of this, make sure all your frames are always selected! So after messing around a bit with the coloring to make it pretty I got the final result :

So yeah, that’s pretty much it I think? If you have more questions feel free to ask me! ^^

Btw, I still use the old dimensions (I think most people use the old ones tbh) so if you want my gifs to look nice on your dash you should consider installing stylish : you can download it here ! please do it

I very swiftly and liberally scrubbed by Dash of any and all CACW fandom negativity, but I promise I’m aware of what’s floating around out there, and I think what’s gnawing at me the most is all the double-standards in place that folks are using to justify Steve’s purported stance in CACW with Tony’s in AoU.

You know that long shot of Bucky and Steve beating on Tony? Right before the cut, it looks like Steve grabs Tony’s arm, and then we get an immediate cut to this:

This could obviously be a trick of editing, but it looks like Steve’s still hanging on to Tony right as he deals this massive blow. And you know what that shot reminds me of?

The next panel is of Tony, beaten almost beyond recognition, telling Steve to “finish it” – and Steve almost does. And I’m not here to compare 616-Steve to MCU-Steve (by and large, I don’t care for 616-Steve AT ALL, but that’s another thing altogether); I just to point out that, by the time an established friendship gets to this point, no one is thinking or behaving rationally, and I think there’s plenty of evidence to support both Steve and Tony’s friendship mutual friendship AND Steve’s compromised state of mind in the MCU going into Civil War.

There are plenty of gif sets floating around illustrating Steve and Tony’s friendship in the MCU, so I won’t belabor that point (plus my browser seems reluctant to load anything, so heaven knows if even the ones I linked are the ones I think they are). I’mma look instead at where Steve’s been so far:

1. Undergoes a radical experimental treatment to join the Army.
2. Loses his mentor, the FIRST person who unequivocally believed in his potential.
3. Feels purposeless as a USO performer.
4. Learns his best friend has been declared KIA.
5. Decides “fuck it” and literally leaps into the field, including but not limited to diving through bullet-ridden skies and witnessing deaths by magic disintegrating laser gun, to pursue dead friend. Learns he’s been tortured instead.
6. (Thinks he) loses his best friend. AGAIN.
7. Completes a suicide mission while on the radio with his One True Love.
8. Wakes up after SEVEN DECADES, displaced and alone, and basically became a ward of SHIELD because where the heck else is he going to go?
9. “Trying to get me back into the world?” “Trying to save it.” – Because that’s what Steve is for
10. Tension. In-fighting. Near-death by falling off a Helicarrier. Aliens. Pretty huge leap from fighting humans, even meta-humans like Schmidt.
11. Confesses that he doesn’t know what makes him happy or what “the right thing” is anymore – ie. is lonely and lost.

And that takes us up to AoU, which I’ve only seen once because yikes, but it’s clear that AoU is meant to be a pretty blatant lead-in to Civil War. Everyone’s talked the subject of Ultron and Tony’s culability, etc etc, and here’s where I’m going with all of this:

Tony has canonically displayed symptoms of PTSD and depression through all three of his movies, and to wrap all of that up in a tidy package and called it “cured” by the end of IM3 is lazy at best and ableist at worst. He (and Bruce, but I won’t get into his AoU motivations here, though I do want to remind everyone that BRUCE WAS THERE, HE DID THE THING TOO) built the Iron Legion and designed Ultron as a fear response – a very, very complex one, in reaction to a essentially his entire tenure as Iron Man, from Stane’s betrayal onward, fueled as much by mental illness and trauma as by reason.

And Steve? Steve has his hurts. He carries them differently than Tony because, hello, he’s a different guy, but they’re there: we see it on the jet after his Wanda-induced vision, when Ultron says Steve can’t exist without war, when Steve turns away from Clint’s house. He gripes about his teammates keeping secrets, and I’m willing to bet he’s just as miffed about not knowing all the cards as he is as a matter of principle (because his principles ARE personal). He wants to have with the Avengers what he did with the Howling Commandos, but times are different and their backgrounds are different and there’s no Single Bad Guy to fight anymore, it’s not so cut-and-dry anymore, and for someone who wears his convictions on his sleeve, that’s a dry pill to swallow. So going into Civil War, who’s to say he isn’t being driven at least in part by that loss and loneliness, by the possibility of having Bucky by his side again? (The last time he saw Bucky, remember, BUCKY was beating the shit out of STEVE? And it wasn’t something to celebrate, so let’s please not treat the Bucky and Steve team-up against Tony as anything different; none of them want to be fighting each other, and true, Steve is self-motivated as opposed to extrinsically compelled to fight, but it’s still not something he’s gonna be proud of tomorrow, and I don’t need to see the movie to promise you that.) And more, there are two elements that weren’t addressed in the trailer at all: Peggy’s funeral and Crossbone’s involvement. We can’t even BEGIN to know where Steve is coming from or everything he’s fighting for without knowing how those two plot points unfold…

So here’s the thing: I’m told there are folks who are defending Steve in CW but ragging on Tony in AoU when, as far as we can tell right now, they have BOTH made massive decisions on their own while under serious duress. If you’re gonna call Tony out, then be prepared to call out Steve as well; and if you’re willing to cut Steve some slack, then consider doing the same for Tony. Fair is fair, especially if we’re gonna call ourselves fans of MCU-Steve.