Fun poetry group last night. Poems about beach stones, home remodeling ("there is no poetry in sheetrock"), the history of tulips, a husband's autopsy, anorexia ("Perfection"), and winter pears ("squat and hippy"). Great discussion and camaraderie.
One question that came up was the use of the em dash — . I know some manuals of style say no spaces before and after; while other manuals of style say yes to spaces before and after. Some people seem pretty militant about it, while others say "it depends." A little research this morning reveals there is a lot of variation. But it seems using the spaces may be winning out over time, as computer-based type-setting machines (as opposed to old hand-set print) need to "see" the spaces, or they will think the two words and the em dash in between them are all one word, and will not break the phrase over two lines when it runs over the right margin.
How do you vote on the em dash? Do you care? Spaces before and after? Or not?
Home sick today. A bad cold. I think I'll curl up on the sofa and finish reading the Alvarez novel.