hyphens, commas, colons, and semi-colons - help!

(12 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Thu 19-Sep-13 20:29:59

The use of hyphens here bothers me, however I can't figure out how to make it sound better. What do you think?

The subsequent individual issues will involve descriptions and analysis in a set context. The first is concerned with an ethical theme – the ethics of community involvement – and the last three practical themes – community-based initiatives, stakeholder relations and community-led activities – will be addressed by cross-referencing the empirical data...

UnicornsPooGlitter Thu 19-Sep-13 20:56:36

I think you need two sets of brackets grin.

PavlovtheCat Thu 19-Sep-13 21:12:10

<head spins> brackets?!! really? don't add those into my confusion!

<goes off to see how it looks with brackets>

Cooroo Thu 19-Sep-13 22:42:25

Break it into 2 sentences. And those are dashes not hyphens. Hyphens join words, like long-winded, self-conscious. Dashes are longer, should have spaces around them and divide things rather than joining them. Unfortunately iPhones don't distinguish typographically!

PavlovtheCat Thu 19-Sep-13 22:56:24

i meant dashes blush

The subsequent individual issues will involve descriptions and analysis in a set context. The first is concerned with an ethical theme , namely the ethics of community involvement , and the last three practical themes (community-based initiatives, stakeholder relations and community-led activities) will be addressed by cross-referencing the empirical data.

But frankly the sentence is not balanced anyway. I'm assuming this is an introduction to a thesis or something? I am not sure you're using "issues" properly.

PavlovtheCat Thu 19-Sep-13 23:25:33

horry oh, blimey, don't think this is my work grin I am proofing it for someone else and can't get my head around it.

No wonder it makes no sense then. grin

Pachacuti Thu 19-Sep-13 23:38:33

Maybe

Individual issues will involve descriptions and analysis in a set context. The first is concerned with an ethical theme (the ethics of community involvement) while subsequent issues will address practical themes (community-based initiatives, stakeholder relations and community-led activities) by cross-referencing the empirical data .

although the start of that passage would depend on what came before it. And it only makes sense if it's talking about a journal or something published as a partwork.

If not, then perhaps

Subsequent description and analysis in a set context will address ethical themes (the ethics of community involvement) as well as practical concerns (community-based initiatives, stakeholder relations and community-led activities). They will be addressed by cross-referencing the empirical data .

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 19-Sep-13 23:55:34

I'll take a stab at it. I usually avoid dashes in formal writing (as other posters have done as well.)

The subsequent individual issues will involve descriptions and analysis in a set context. The first is concerned with the ethics of community involvement, an ethical theme. The last three are practical themes: community-based initiatives; stakeholder relations; and community-led activities and will be addressed by cross-referencing the empirical data...

PavlovtheCat Thu 19-Sep-13 23:57:53

you are all too good. thank you! <off to bed now with dashes and the such spinning in my eyes>

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 20-Sep-13 00:38:10

On second thought, commas would be better than semi-colons in my second sentence since there are no commas in the items in the series. (I have been accused of being overly fond of the semi-colon.) blush

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