Punctuation with ellipsis.

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Ending a sentence with an ellipsis and quotation marks to show that the speaker was interrupted. (See example)

Grammarly doesn't approve, but you aren't supposed to put four periods in a row. I don't think we're supposed to do: 3 periods space period. I don't want to put another period after the quotation mark, so do I leave it as is?

See example:

"Isn't Lady Benefield's youngest near two years old now?" "Yes, Ma'am," Cooper said, "but we've got this little angel-creature-an infant and he …"
asked Feb 03 '12 at 23:31 Nancy Scharding New member

4 answers


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ELLIPSIS POINTS?

 

Does anyone do them correctly?


Don’t take my word for it. Flip through any best selling  fiction novel and you will see how they are supposed to be written. A trip to the book store will show you, the correct way to write them, and far better than anyone can tell you. 

 

If you do not have the Chicago Manual Of Style, go on line and connect with Grammar Girl (Megas Fogaraty). This is what she says:

 

“An ellipsis consists of exactly three dots called ellipsis points–never two dots, never four dots–just three dots. (Space-Period-Space-Period-Space-Period) Just make sure your dots don’t end up on two different lines “

 

Fogarty also gives a good memory jog. “The ellipsis is typically standing in for a word or a sentence, so just imagine that it’s a word itself, and then it’s easy to remember to put a space on each side.” 

 

Hope this helps!

 

P.S. Check the Chicago Manual of Style (the gold standard for fiction used by most publishers). It is the best all around reference. For non-fictional writing, use the style manual specified.

 

Note: The Yahoo! Style Guide is considered by many, as an excellent sourcebook for writing, editing, and creating content for the DIGITAL world. They say what I have said here in regards to ellipses points (putting a space between each of the periods) however, they add this:

 

"But on line, adding a space between each dot can lead to bad line breaks, with, for example, one dot at the end of one line and two dots at the beginning of the next."

 

There are several coded methods typesetters can use, but Yahoo! recommends,  for digital purposes, to use three periods in a row, with a space before and after. (It is best to refer to their guide for a complete explaination that takes into consideration, all their exceptions to this rule.)

link comment edited Feb 04 '12 at 10:29 G. Scherphorn New member
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P.S.

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You wrote:

<Ending a sentence with an ellipsis and quotation marks to show that the speaker was interrupted. (See example)


You are basically correct, except there are not spaces between the points of your ellipsis. Instead, ut should be like this:

 

 

"Isn't Lady Benefield's youngest near two years old now?" "Yes, Ma'am," Cooper said, "but we've got this little angel-creature-an infant and he . . . "


You wrote it like this:

 

 

"Isn't Lady Benefield's youngest near two years old now?" "Yes, Ma'am," Cooper said, "but we've got this little angel-creature-an infant and he …"


Can you see the difference?

 

 

Now, if you had written, "Isn't Lady Benefield's youngest near two years old now?"

 

"Yes, Ma'am," Cooper said, "but we've got this little angel-creature-an infant and he is going to need a bed. . . . find him one."


In this example, had you intended to end the sentence (the complete thought) with the word "bed," then you would have placed a period after bed. Next you would leave one space and add an ellipsis (three spaced points) to indicate you have left out part of the dialogue.

 

The above example may look as if an ellipsis has been written incorrectly with four points. But it has not, because it is after the period at the end of a sentence. The ellipsis used here, is not a trailing off, but instead used to indicate missing dialogue. 

 

From what I understand it is correct to do it either way, however, in todays best selling fiction, I am only seeing the ellipsis used, and never the confusing period and three points. (I'm not positive about this part, so check it out in the Chicago Manual of Style (if what you are writting is fiction).

 

Again, hope this helps.

 

P.S. Grammarly incorrectly says this because they have grouped ellipses in this. Also, notice what they say about dashes needing spaces. It is exactly the opposite. It appears, the proof reader for grammarly missed this. If someone can prove I am wrong, I will be happy to change my ways. 

 

"Commas, periods, colons, semi-colons, exclamation marks, question marks, hyphens, ellipses, closing quotation marks and closing brackets do not need spaces in front of them. A space should be used before dashes, opening quotation marks and opening brackets. Apostrophes may have a space before them if they represent a missing letter (or group of letters) at the beginning of a word.

 

link comment answered Feb 04 '12 at 07:34 G. Scherphorn New member
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P.P.S.

 

To be certain, I was giving you the correct information regading dashes, I looked it up. Here is Grammar Girl's exact quote:

 

"Whether you are using the longer em dash in a sentence or the shorter en dash to indicate an inclusive range, there are no spaces between the dash and the words around it. This is actually a style choice, so you should consult a style guide if your company or teacher has one, but I recommend using no spaces."

 

Again, look at the New York Times Best Sellers. (Especially, if you are a fiction writer.) You will see they do not use spaces around dashes.

link comment answered Feb 04 '12 at 07:58 G. Scherphorn New member
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Nancy Scharding: If you are doing a document for an on-line publication, you may very well be doing your ellipsis correctly. I just now, found information in the 2010 Yahoo! Style Guide regarding online documents. (For a more complete explanation, see where I have written about this elsewhere.)


Example: 

 

"Isn't Lady Benefield's youngest near two years old now?"

 

"Yes, Ma'am," Cooper said, "but we've got this little angel-creature-an infant and he …"

link comment answered Feb 04 '12 at 10:39 G. Scherphorn New member

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