Interruptions: Dash meets quotation marks [ -" ]

I love realistic dialogue in my writing, so my characters regularly interrupt each other. Would it be possible to make quotation marks treat a dash as a common letter. Currently, if I use a dash at the end of a word, the quotations marks curl away from the dash (starting quotation mark), even with a space after the mark. See example below, though the forum doesn’t use smart quotes.

Billy swallowed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for any of thi-”
“It doesn’t matter what you meant to happen!” Sara screamed.

To combat this, I have to add a letter at the end of the dash before typing the quotation mark so it will treat it as the end of a sentence, not beginning of another. Then I have to arrow back to delete the foreign letter.

Billy swallowed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for any of thi-d” (Forces quotation mark to realize it’s at the end of the sentence)
Billy swallowed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for any of thi-” (Deleting the ‘d’ leaves the quotation mark as an ‘end’)

Perhaps there’s a typographic rule about which I’m ignorant that always treats a dash as a word combiner, (i.e. Harry was a top-“notch” kind of guy, the ladies sneered.), but this would greatly help my dialogue development.



In the meantime, you could save a little energy in your workaround by simply typing the closing smart double-quote ( shift-option-{ ) instead of “fooling” your way around the smart quote function!


Awesome. Thanks for the tip. Do you alert us if you use one of our suggestions?