<pedantry> Generally speaking, there are two standard ways to format dashes in English:

  • Endash with space: "then he – Jim – went to the store"
  • Emdash with no space, or hair space: "then he—Jim—went to the store"

Wikipedia, for example, allows either of these two options, but not what the new Code of Conduct has – spaced emdashes:

Be kind and friendly.
Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes — tone is hard to decipher online. If a situation makes it hard to be friendly, stop participating and move on.

For what it's worth, it seems that SE tends to prefer spaced endashes (for example, here), though, to be fair, there are many examples of spaced hyphens and spaced double-hypens to be found in the help pages as well (yuck!).

Please switch to either spaced endashes or unspaced emdashes.

  • Commonly, US punctuation uses em dashes without spaces while UK punctuation (I'm not sure about other countries in Europe) uses en dashes with spaces. (Mostly, the UK doesn't use em dashes at all.) – Jason Bassford Aug 7 '18 at 19:31
  • @Jason Bassford: Or just particular style guides? – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Aug 7 '18 at 21:20
  • @PeterMortensen There are no doubt specific style guides, and house style guides, that differ. I'm talking about overall country-related style differences. If Stack Exchange has their own house style guide that says to use em dashes with spaces, then that's a perfectly acceptable choice. There are no concrete rules for anyone—although consistency should generally be maintained in whatever style is agreed upon. (I'm not quite sure if I actually addressed your point.) – Jason Bassford Aug 7 '18 at 21:30
  • Possibly relevant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Short_horizontal_line – Mark Aug 7 '18 at 23:36
  • 1
    I agree with your remarks, but I found somewhat ironic that your <pedantry> tag lacks the mandatory closing tag – Nicola Sap Aug 8 '18 at 10:14
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    @Nicola I'll never stop being a pedant ;-) – Nathaniel is protesting Aug 8 '18 at 10:17

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