In typography, there are actually two types of dashes: "M" dashes and "N" dashes. "M" dashes are longer, about the width of an "M" from the same typeface. They're used to set off asides in sentences like this:
I went to the store and -- yikes! -- got bit by a dog!
Or to attribute quotations:
"It's better to go to the store and get bit by a dog than to have never gone to the store at all."
-- William Shakespeare
(Obviously, I've substituted two hyphens for the actual "M" dash in these examples, because I don't think ASCII has "M" dashes.)

"N" dashes are used less frequently, usually to indicate an interval between times or dates:
Due to a dog bite, the store will be closed June-July.
Neither type of dash should be confused with a hyphen, which should only be used to hyphenate words.

On a Macintosh, you can get an M dash by hitting option-shift-hyphen and an N dash with option-hyphen. Or, if you're like most people, you can just ignore everything I've just said and do it the wrong way.
Acronym meaning Data and Survey Handling.

DASH is a complete software package for Unix and Linux geared towards market research. It can be used to:

  • Collect data (via a CATI setup or otherwise).
  • Direct data entry
  • Monitor quota groups and sample
  • Work with precoded/open ended questions
  • Call management
  • Sophisticated analysis of the collected data (whether or not it was collected with DASH)
  • Automated data cleaning (a sort of "Does this make sense?" operation)
  • Cross-tabulation (create real purty tables that clients look at, but don't understand until you explain it to them)

DASH is quite easy to work with compared to most packages of this nature. You can get a lot of stuff done quickly.

For some unexplainable reason, DASH is used almost exclusively in Canada.

A unit of measure. A dash is 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Dash (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dashed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dashing.] [Of. Scand. origin; cf. Dan daske to beat, strike, Sw. & Icel. daska, Dan. & Sw. dask blow.]


To throw with violence or haste; to cause to strike violently or hastily; -- often used with against.

If you dash a stone against a stone in the botton of the water, it maketh a sound. Bacon.


To break, as by throwing or by collision; to shatter; to crust; to frustrate; to ruin.

Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Ps. ii. 9.

A brave vessel, . . . Dashed all to pieces. Shak.

To perplex and dash Maturest counsels. Milton.


To put to shame; to confound; to confuse; to abash; to depress.


Dash the proud gameser in his gilded car. Pope.


To throw in or on in a rapid, careless manner; to mix, reduce, or adulterate, by throwing in something of an inferior quality; to overspread partially; to bespatter; to touch here and there; as, to dash wine with water; to dash paint upon a picture.

I take care to dash the character with such particular circumstance as may prevent ill-natured applications. Addison.

The very source and fount of day Is dashed with wandering isles of night. Tennyson.


To form or sketch rapidly or carelessly; to execute rapidly, or with careless haste; -- with off; as, to dash off a review or sermon.


To erase by a stroke; to strike out; knock out; -- with out; as, to dash out a word.


© Webster 1913.

Dash, v. i.

To rust with violence; to move impetuously; to strike violently; as, the waves dash upon rocks.

[He] dashed through thick and thin. Dryden.

On each hand the gushing waters play, And down the rough cascade all dashing fall. Thomson.


© Webster 1913.

Dash, n.


Violent striking together of two bodies; collision; crash.


A sudden check; abashment; frustration; ruin; as, his hopes received a dash.


A slight admixture, infusion, or adulteration; a partial overspreading; as, wine with a dash of water; red with a dash of purple.

Innocence when it has in it a dash of folly. Addison.


A rapid movement, esp. one of short duration; a quick stroke or blow; a sudden onset or rush; as, a bold dash at the enemy; a dash of rain.

She takes upon her bravely at first dash. Shak.


Energy in style or action; animation; spirit.


A vain show; a blustering parade; a flourish; as, to make or cut a great dash.


7. Punctuation

A mark or line [--], in writing or printing, denoting a sudden break, stop, or transition in a sentence, or an abrupt change in its construction, a long or significant pause, or an unexpected or epigrammatic turn of sentiment. Dashes are also sometimes used instead of marks or parenthesis.

John Wilson.

8. Mus. (a)

The sign of staccato, a small mark [] denoting that the note over which it is placed is to be performed in a short, distinct manner

. (b)

The line drawn through a figure in the thorough bass, as a direction to raise the interval a semitone.

9. Racing

A short, spirited effort or trial of speed upon a race course; -- used in horse racing, when a single trial constitutes the race.


© Webster 1913.

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