Why the Em Dash Not Being Easily Accessible on the Keyboard is a Crime Against Humanity and Anyone Arguing Otherwise Deserves the Penalty of Death (SATIRE)

The em dash (—)  is a commonly used punctuation with many everyday applications, but it fails to find itself represented on your typical keyboard layout. Even on mobile phone keyboards, with their 2 page punctuation section, the em dash fails to be included. With all the versatile uses of the em dash, it is strange to make the em dash so hard to access. This issue needs to be addressed because people all over the world are suffering tremendously whenever they find that they need an em dash. The lack of em dashes in the world is a seldom regarded atrocity.

Here are the uses of an em dash:


Use em dashes to set off an appositive phrase instead of commas

An appositive phrase—an extra section of information that is set off from the rest of the sentence for clarification—is usually offset by a comma. However this can become confusing for the reader if there are already other commas in the sentence. In this case, em dashes can be a very useful alternative tool to offset the appositive phrase.


Example: Ms. Pittaluga—my journalism teacher at Lambert High School—screams when she sees a bug.


Example: Em dashes—a very useful form of punctuation—are an oppressed people.


Use em dashes to set off parenthetical information

Em dashes can be used in place of parentheses to offset information. When used in this way, more focus is put on the information between the em dashes compared to when parentheses are used. Make sure to use a set of two em dashes—one before and one after the parenthetical information— when making use of this.


Example: Ms. Pittaluga is scared—actually, petrified— by the idea of ghosts.


Example: Prateek likes to sing—mostly Disney songs—during journalism class.


Use em dashes to bring focus to a list

Em dashes can be used in-between an independent clause and a list. When a list occurs before an independent clause, it is better to use an em dash over a colon to connect the list. Usage in this manner helps focus your list towards one idea. 


Example: Ghosts, clowns, snakes, spiders—they are all things that will make Ms. Pittaluga scream.


Example: Gobi manchurian, butter chicken, pad thai—they are all foods that Prateek would consider his favorites and be willing to bathe in.


Use em dashes to signal an abrupt change in thought

Em dashes, however, can’t be used as flexible in creative—oh, who am I kidding? Em dashes are also great for use in creative writing. They can be used to signal a sudden change in the direction of writing.


Example: Prateek is a normal individual that is 100 percent not deranged—said no one ever.


Example: Prateek was quoted saying, “I’m not crazy—wait, yes I am!”


Use consecutive em dashes to indicate missing parts of a word

Two consecutive em dashes can be used to signal missing parts of a word whether it be unknown or purposefully omitted. Three em dashes can be used to signal when an entire word is missing. 


Example: All Andrew remembered before he was knocked out was Prateek yelling, “Listen to my Physics ins—— before I h—— you with this b——.”


Example: The police report read, “Suspect P—— Y—— was found singing Disney songs aside the body of victim A—— G—— after having beaten him with a notebook.”

Why is this crime against humanity so often swept under the rug?

With all these clear and versatile uses I don’t see why more people aren’t arguing that the em dash needs its own key on the keyboard. Somehow, even on mobile phones—where there is a dedicated punctuation and symbol section of the keyboard—the em dash fails to be included. Somehow symbols like □ and ¤ are considered to be more useful and are included on the mobile phone keyboard. This is a genocide hidden right under our noses—a punctuation genocide. This is a deliberate attack against people everywhere. Any proponents against this movement for the liberation of the em dash is an enemy of humanity and should be tried as such for crimes against humanity. This punctuation genocide can stand no longer.