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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Punctuation Ellipses Spacing

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 5, 2014.

    Does the revised version at the bottom look correct with the ellipses, especially the exact spacing of dots as shown? Thank you. :)

    Original
    The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless: it is not loving; it has no ulterior and divine ends; but is destructive only out of hatred and selfishness. On the other side, the conservative party, composed of the most moderate, able, and cultivated part of the population, is timid, and merely defensive of property. It vindicates no right, it aspires to no real good, it brands no crime, it proposes no generous policy, it does not build, nor write, nor cherish the arts, nor foster religion, nor establish schools, nor encourage science, nor emancipate the slave, nor befriend the poor, or the Indian, or the immigrant. From neither party, when in power, has the world any benefit to expect in science, art, or humanity, at all commensurate with the resources of the nation.

    Revised
    The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless.... On the other side, the conservative party... is timid, and merely defensive of property.... It does not build, nor write, nor cherish the arts, nor foster religion, nor establish schools.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The Chicago Manual of Style suggests using no spaces, but this is purely a stylistic preference. I know some places have spaces both before and after the ellipses (i.e., "conservative party ... is timid"). The important thing is to be consistent.
     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks, thirdwind. I would be consistent. Do you feel as though the way I did it above looks okay?

    Some do this:
    The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless ... . On the other side, the conservative party ... is timid, and merely defensive of
    property ... . It does not build, nor write, nor cherish the arts, nor foster religion, nor establish schools.

    Others do this:
    The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless. . . . On the other side, the conservative party . . . is timid, and merely defensive of property. . . . It does not build, nor write, nor cherish the arts, nor foster religion, nor establish schools.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yeah, what you have looks correct.

    In the post above, I prefer not having a space between the ellipsis and the period. I think that's the way most people do it. Also, the period goes before the ellipsis if I'm not mistaken, so if you did have a space, it would look like this: ". ..." That just seems weird to me, so I would say go with no space.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, it's not correct... i see no reason for using ellipses in that manner at all, unless the material is quoted and some parts have been elided, which does not seem to be the case... and an ellipsis should generally be equally spaced both before and after... plus, ellipses should be 'opened up' like this . . . not 'closed' like...this...

    in your first example, there should be no 'but' before the final item in the list...
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Since he's quoting that entire paragraph but removing certain sections, I do think he needs to use ellipses to show that sections have been omitted.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting. I would originally have done my ellipses like this ... I still do when I'm not paying attention, or it's in something like an online forum. However, I've just read a brand-new grammar-for-fiction-writers book Writers' Devils: The Grammar Guide for Fiction Authors by Dan Persinger, who is a copy editor by trade. This book advocates a single space between dots, but admits this is the newer preferred form.

    Interesting reason. Apparently it has to do with modern wordprocessors. They sometimes see three periods (full stops) in a row as being an error, because their mechanical brains have been told to expect a space after every period.

    Also, some fonts—the ones that do accept dot-dot-dot ellipses—will produce the three dots together in a very mashed-together form, which means they don't register with the eye as a string of dots. He included an example in his book which I can't reproduce here, but it did look very weird.

    Quote from the book:
    So this is not really a grammatical issue, its a formatting issue.

    Its a new dawn. . . .

    It's always four dots at the end of a sentence, though. That forms an ellipsis AND a period. Three dots if the ellipsis appears in the middle of a sentence.

    Quote from the book:
    Sorry I can't give page number for these quotes, but I'm using a Kindle. Not the best format for a grammar book I want to consult periodically. I live and learn!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    duh!... must've read/written that before i finished my morning's green tea, tw... thanks for the kind/courteous catch!
     

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