"The novelist Will Self: 'Prose has its own musicality, and the more notation the better. I like dashes, double dashes, comashes and double comashes just as much.' Comashes? A search in books found only a historical reference to an export from the Levant, which may have been a type of stocking or stocking material; a Web search was almost as unrewarding but did find a note that a comash is a comma followed by a dash: “,—�?. Its name is so rare we may presume Will Self invented it. The stop was once common in English prose, going back at least to the First Quarto of Shakespeare’s Othello, printed in 1622 (“I’le tell you what you should do,— our General’s wife is now the General�?). It could appear in pairs to mark a parenthesis (hence double comashes) where we would now use just a pair of dashes. Its usual name is comma dash."