1. JoeMusings
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    JoeMusings Member

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    A Few Questions Regarding Grammar

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by JoeMusings, Aug 26, 2009.

    There are some questions I've been holding in my mind for a while now.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who offers any help.

    Ellipsis

    Which is the proper way to indicate ellipsis in manuscript?

    This is the first part of the statement...this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.
    This is the first part of the statement... this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.
    This is the first part of the statement ... this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.

    This is the first part of the statement...and this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.
    This is the first part of the statement... and this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.
    This is the first part of the statement ... and this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.

    Em Dashes

    Which is the proper way to indicate ellipsis in manuscript?

    The issues-- abortion and the death penalty-- deal primarily with the value of human life.
    The issues--abortion and the death penalty--deal primarily with the value of human life.
    The issues -- abortion and the death penalty -- deal primarily with the value of human life.

    Parentheticals

    John jumped up and down (he was very excited). He then proceeded to kiss his dog.
    John jumped up and down. (He was very excited.) He then proceeded to kiss his dog.

    Which one, and why?

    Quotation

    Jimmy said, "And then she said, 'I'm not crazy!'"
    Jimmy said, "And then she said, 'I'm not crazy!' "

    Which one and why?
     
  2. SlickBeast
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    SlickBeast New Member

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    The use of ellipsis is very controversial. Find a reputed writing manual, look up the rule concerning its usage and stick with it. Bear in mind each publisher may have its own rule.

    Em dash. Only option two is correct. Never seen 1 and 3.

    Parenthesis. I write fiction so I've never bothered looking it up.

    Quotation. Number one.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Assuming you're talking fiction here, the proper way to use an ellipsis is . . . like that. Three dots, no more no less, a space between each and either side, and its used to indicate a pause, beat, something like that (as opposed to its meaning of "text omitted here" in non-fiction).

    SB is right about the m-dash.

    I'm asuming the example you gave was just a random meaningless example (cuz there's no need for that to be in parentheses)...basically you treat it however you would treat it (outside the parentheses). (If its a separate sentence it gets to be a sentence within parentheses, like so.)

    Quotes, first one....why would you need the extra space? I think the usage of '/" is opposite between USA and UK though.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The spacing between periods in an ellipsis is an older standard, and most current style guides treat the spacing within an ellipsis as optional.

    As for quoting, arron is correct. However, the UK usage, with the roles of the single and double quote pairs reversed, is disappearing. Increasingly, UK publishers are adopting the double quote as the primary quoting mark.
     
  5. greyhoody
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    greyhoody Member

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    I am from Ireland... The apostrophe/single quotation mark is used to signify original speech and the double quotation is used for reported speech. It does not change for us. And its number 1 that's right.
     
  6. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    Which do publishers prefer on finished manuscripts, spaces around ellipsis or no spaces? (Or does it matter?)

    Also (please forgive the digression from the OP) regarding the ellipsis, I've changed my manuscript (per instructions in this forum) to Courier New and am getting used to using the font. I noticed that when I type ellipsis, Microsoft Word's auto-correct recognizes them and "crunches" them together, but what I had previously typed and changed the font on comes up as three periods. I know I want it to be consistent throughout the manuscript, but I'm not sure if I should use the auto-corrected version or the three periods version, or whether it matters at all.

    (See below)

    a… crunched
    a... not crunched

    The "crunched" version appears tight, especially without the surrounding spaces.

    At least to my eye, in Microsoft Word the "not crunched" version actually looks more spread out than it looks here in the forum.

    Charlie
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Charlie

    To get to the AutoCorrect console in Word 2007, click the big MS Word logo button in the upper left corner. Click the Word Options button at the bottom of the menu, then Proofing in the sidebar, then the AutoCorrect Options button. (In older versions of Word, simply choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu.)

    On the AutoCorrect tab in the dialog window that comes up, look under the Replace text as you type section. You'll see a lot of useful auto-corrections listed, not to mention some not-so-useful ones. If you highlight the list item containing the ellipsis correction, which should be about three or four lines down, you can click Delete to make that annoying replacement stop happening.

    And now that squished ellipsis will never darken your tab stop again!

    You can also make custom "replace as you type" functions. Say there is a word you mistype often, but Word doesn't catch it. Type the misspelling under Replace and the proper spelling under With.


    I also click the AutoFormat tab and uncheck "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes"--Ordinals (1st) with superscript--and Hyphens (--) with dash

    This makes the manuscript look cleaner.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    whether you use crunched or non, there should be no extra space after it, as you've shown, charlie...
     
  9. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    According to a book I read, and I agree with and follow, an ellipsis is like this:

    Hey. . . what's up?

    No space for the first dot, then space each dot.

    There are three dots if it is just a pause and not the end of a sentence, but four dots if it is the end of a sentence.

    I've just been feeling down, lately. . . .
     
  10. Deuxdad
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    Deuxdad New Member

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    Courier New

    As I am new to writing, and this forum, my question is the use of Courier New as the preferred font. The question is: Why is Courier New preferred over more attractive fonts?

    TIA
    Deuxdad
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Serif fonts are considered more readable in large quantities than sans serif fonts. Also, Courier New is a monospaced font (all characters take up the same width), which supposedly makes it easier to see typographic errors.
     
  12. Deuxdad
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    Deuxdad New Member

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    Courier New

    Thanks Cogito,

    Since I'm sure I must have OCD regarding grammar, punctuation and spelling, I certainly can use all the help I can get with my writing.

    Deuxdad
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the other acceptable font is times new roman, but it's small and cramped, compared with courier... which is why the latter is the most universally acceptable font, as agents and editors can more easily add notes...
     
  14. Hazel Eyed Scribe
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    Hazel Eyed Scribe Member

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    Ok, these thoughts are coming from multiple sources that I've read and learned in class, so bare with me on this one while I try to verbalize them correctly...




    Hope this helps! :)
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that...
     
  16. Kaltica
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    Kaltica New Member

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    JoeMusings:


    The first rule relevant to using ellipses, em dashes and brackets in formal writing is: "Don't!" Here are some ways to avoid them in the examples you've posted:

    This is the first statement. This is the part that follows the period.

    Note that "follows after" is redundant.

    The issues, abortion and the death penalty, deal primarily with the value of human life.

    John jumped up and down. He then proceeded to kiss his dog.

    The fact that John is jumping up and down demonstrates his excitement. You could add "excitedly" if you feel it absolutely necessary.

    Jimmy said, "And then she said, 'I'm not crazy!'"

    This is correct in North America.


    HTH,

    Kaltica
     
  17. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    Fiction, however, isn't "formal writing."

    Ellipses, dashes and parenthesis (UK calls them brackets) are useful in fiction, especially in dialogue, for example, where a person's conversation is interrupted or trails off...

    Charlie
     
  18. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Ellipsis

    Which is the proper way to indicate ellipsis in manuscript?

    This is the first part of the statement...this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.
    This is the first part of the statement... this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.
    This is the first part of the statement ... this is the part that follows after the ellipsis.

    According to the Chicago Manual of Style . . . The ellipsis dots are consistently separated from each other and the preceding and following words by a space or an em space. That said, there are many variations in manuscripts, and it's best simply to be consistent. Another good reason for the spaces is to avoid having the ellipsis bring down the preceding and succeeding words to the next line by tying them together as a single word (for word processing purposes). Your publisher will decide their own stylistic preferences with respect to ending of sentences (which could be like this . . . . with four dots, the last one being the final period and not technically part of the ellipsis. Other punctuation can sometimes be added for various reasons, especially if you're quoting old printed stuff.

    Em Dashes

    Which is the proper way to indicate ellipsis (em dashes)in manuscript?

    The issues-- abortion and the death penalty-- deal primarily with the value of human life.
    The issues--abortion and the death penalty--deal primarily with the value of human life. In print, this is the correct option (no spaces). Of course the word processing of the em dash itself does exactly the same thing as the ellipses in connecting before and after words to the word that follows the em dash (and might bring two long words down to a following line as if it was all one word). So, you might leave a space before and after to avoid that issue in a manuscript. In print, however--it'll look like this--with no spaces (and a single line, rather than two hyphens). Again, just be consistent in your manuscript.
    The issues -- abortion and the death penalty -- deal primarily with the value of human life.

    Parentheticals

    John jumped up and down (he was very excited). He then proceeded to kiss his dog.
    John jumped up and down. (He was very excited.) He then proceeded to kiss his dog.

    Which one, and why?

    It really depends upon whether it's important that your entire sentence be the parenthetical. (Sometimes it's important to interject a complete sentence, as if it's coming from another voice.) If, however, it's just an explanation that's significant to something within the sentence, then include it to show that significance (like this, for example).

    Quotation

    Jimmy said, "And then she said, 'I'm not crazy!'" I don't know of any convention that requires the double quotation mark to have a space before it, even if it's preceded by a single quotation mark. Especially so, since putting a space there could easily separate the double mark from the single at the end of a line of typed text.
    Jimmy said, "And then she said, 'I'm not crazy!' "

    Which one and why?
     
  19. Kaltica
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    Kaltica New Member

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    CharlieVer:


    Barring experiments such as "stream of consciousness", yes, fiction is formal writing, as opposed to, say, letter writing or chatspeak. SPaG counts. Indeed, it can make or break a manuscript. Of course, the level of formality may vary depending on the strictness of the editor.

    I agree that almost anything goes within dialogue. I'd also concede that em dashes are all too common in poetry. The paucity of ellipses, em dashes and parentheses in literary fiction speaks to the ubiquitous conceit that they are signs of poor planning on the writer's part.


    Best regards,

    Kaltica
     

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