Jane Eyre-along

Time to get over our Bronte issues.

06 August 2006

A quick question

I feel like I learned about this in college but I'm blanking and a quick internet search isn't helping, so I turn to you all.
Can anyone recall the reason for using dashes to stand in for place names or street names? Is there a reason? It's a convention I notice more in classic literature.
It always jars me to be reading along and then see something about a house in ----berg or something like that.
Thanks!

2 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

I couldn't remember either, so I went looking ...

The idea was to suggest realism without using a specific name or place, for propriety's sake.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_character
In the Names of Chatacters parapraph

I'd think they'd just make something up, but such was not the case. And I agree that it's a bit jarring in the text.

11:46 PM  
Blogger jessie said...

Thank you! I figured it was something like that. It's always bugged me.

12:16 AM  

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