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Ellipses, dots ( . . . ) periods . . . August 13, 2009

Filed under: Editing,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:06 am
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Ellipses are those dots that people put in their writing. . . .
Mirriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines an ellipsis as a mark showing an omission (as of words) or a pause. The singular form can be either written as ellipse or ellipsis; the plural is ellipses.

While I would love to write a long and intelligent article about ellipses, there are times when others seem to do such an excellent job (writing on the same subject) that it makes more sense to link to their input rather than write almost exactly the same thing myself. The Grammar Girl is one such writer, and here is her take on ellipses.

The Guide to Grammar and Writing suggests putting brackets around the ellipses in sentences.

A teacher from talks about putting a space . . . between each dot of the ellipses, rather than have them all squished together like the seven dwarfs in one bed (my simile). His statement is backed up by both the CMS and the MLA.

All I will say about ellipses . . . is that I like using them when I want to make a reader slow down . . . and think about what I’ve written. . . .



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