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Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes
Q. I am editing a collection of poems. My poet is inclined to use ellipses and em dashes extensively and incorrectly. I argued that this will detract from the manuscript and be distracting for readers. She argued that it’s a style thing and I shouldn’t change it. Who is right? Does the poet get complete license?
A. Poets do tend to resist editing—they’re so sure that everything they do is inspired by genius. Fortunately, readers tend to buy into this. Your role is just to query and then let it go.