The Em Dash Is the King of All Punctuation — and Emily Dickinson Is His Queen

I don’t care what your English teacher says. They can meet me on the playground after school if they want to get down and dirty.

Alex Bentley
3 min readMay 6, 2022


Photo courtesy Apple TV+

There’s no debate when it comes to the em dash. It is, unequivocally, the king of all punctuation marks. And Emily Dickinson is its queen.


Because the em dash has all the power and versatility of other punctuation marks — commas, semicolons, colons — plus a lot more.

The em dash is a versatile, beautiful mark of punctuation that can ground your writing and add much-needed emphasis where needed.

Just look at some of the most famous works of literature in history that use the em dash to great effect:

  • William Shakespeare’s plays
  • Charles Dickens’ novels
  • Emily Dickinson’s poems

In many ways, the em dash is the perfect punctuation mark — it allows writers to clarify meaning in their writing without having to rely on a lot of cumbersome words or phrases. Words and phrases that would, otherwise, get jumbled in the reader’s mind without an em dash’s usage.



Alex Bentley

I write about crypto, personal finance, business & tech. Also, I publish a bit of humor to make you laugh.