i almost never work with lyrics, but i would assume the adjustments
should be made for the syllable to appear as if the m-dash wasn't
there. not a scientificly worked out argument, but feels right to
now, the geeky, almost pedantic shit.
>According to most American sources (such as The Chicago Manual of
>Style) and some British sources (such as The Oxford Guide to Style),
>an em dash should always be set closed, meaning it should not be
>surrounded by spaces. But the practice in some parts of the
>English-speaking world, including the style recommended by The New
>York Times Manual of Style and Usage, sets it open, separating it
>from its surrounding words by using spaces or hair spaces (U+200A)
>when it is being used parenthetically.
>In Canada [list of sources]... all specify that an em dash should be
>set closed when used between words, a word and numeral, or two
typical canadian, follows british practice for most things but
american practice sometimes.
i find the spaces help give the phrases structure; an m-dash without
space after a syllable can be used to indicate an incomplete word (or
replaces part of the word to avoid writing profanity), while the
space makes it 100% clear it is an interruption of the thought.
a small but nevertheless important part of my reasoning in insisting
on the space is also editorial, i edit an online journal and the
space gives a clear visual gestalt that is easier to perceive in
varying reading conditions (user prefs, resolution and size etc.).
and if you want some socio-political reasoning, using the space
immediately distinguishes the writer or publication as not being
interesting is that when the hyphen is used where an m-dash should
normally be used, there is ALWAYS a space (of course helps
distinguish from compound words), and i don't recall seeing the
shortcut (for digital communications where the m-dash might not be
recognized by a server / email programme) of the double-hyphen
without spaces surrounding it.
even stranger looking (despite its logic) i find is the french
practice -where dashes have spaces only on the outside of the
interruption- for this punctuation.