The :-

Whatever happened to the colon-dash punctuation mark. You remember the thing:


It seems to have gone the way of bowler hats, Texan bars and white dog poo.

When I was a kid, we were taught that we should always introduce a list with a colon followed by a dash. But nowadays, all you ever see is colons. Granted, the colons look a lot tidier without the dashes, but I wonder who it was who decided that the dash was no longer necessary. Perhaps they thought it looked a bit too much like one of those godawful smilies. A smiley without a smile.

I seem to be spending far too much time worrying about this sort of thing these days.

The colon-dash, eh? Sounds like some sort of sponsored charity event in a hospital.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Did anyone ever disprove our schooldays' insistence that white dog poo emanated from white dogs?

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