1. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Quotation Marks and Cutting Off

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by cutecat22, Dec 30, 2014.

    Hi guys, I might be in the wrong place here but ...

    I uses ellipses quite a lot but have recently been informed that I should be using a dash when someone gets interrupted rather than the ellipses.

    Sort of like:

    "I really don't think you-" he began but never finished his sentence.
    Where as I've been putting:-
    "I really don't think you ..." he began but never finished his sentence.

    Now, the problem I have, is I use a font that shows opening quote marks differently to closing quote marks, like the old fashioned 66's (opening quotes) and 99's (closing quotes) so when I type the sentence with the ellipses, it correctly shows closing quotes as 99's but when I use the dash, it shows closing quotes as 66's.

    What am I doing wrong?
    x
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    What program are you using?

    You could always turn off 'smart quotes,' if that's an option.

    I agree about the em dash versus ellipses.
     
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  3. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    MSWord for the windows 8 office 2013
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, did it for me as well. I always have smart quotes turned off in Word because it is a pain and causes formatting issues transferring to the web or ebook.

    I don't know how to get word to fix it. If you type two quotes in a row and backspace over the one that is wrong, it corrects it, but that's a pain.
     
  5. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Same as if I type the sentence with the ellipses, and then edit out the ellipse and put in the dash, the quotes stay ok, it's just when I type the dash in from fresh. Will have a look at the smart quotes thing, thanks.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Couple points - if you've got smart quotes turned on in MS Word, you've also probably got the automatic em-dash feature - type two keyboard dashes and it will convert them into an em-dash. (There are three different mid-line horizontal marks: a hyphen, an en-dash, and an em-dash. For interrupted dialogue, you want the em-dash, the longest of the three).

    When I use em-dashes in Word with smart quotes, I either type an extra letter --f" and then back and delete the f, or I do a universal search-and-replace when I'm done with the document and put the smart quotes in then.
     
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  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    “test-“
    “test”
    “test…”
    “test–“
    “test—“
    “test—”

    Kind of a hassle but you can put the quotes in then go back and put the dash in and it will keep the closing quotes.

    Added: Or like @BayView does it. :)
     
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  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Scrivener will also place closing quotes after an em-dash.
     
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  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hmm. I use Pages, and it always uses the correct smart quote after ellipses. Obviously programmes differ as to their recognition of an ellipsis. By the way, the correct way to end a sentence with an ellipsis is apparently to put four dots, rather than three. "Like this...." If your ellipsis is in the middle of a sentence...like this...you don't need to worry about quotes anyway. (Okay, that's probably not a grammatically correct use of ellipses in that particular sentence, but I just wanted to show how they would look in the middle of a sentence.)

    Ellipses and dashes are not interchangeable in dialogue. They read differently. A dash indicates that an unfinished thought has been suddenly interrupted or bitten off. Ellipses indicate that an unfinished thought has simply trailed off, either to deliberately leave something unsaid, or because the speaker has just been distracted by something else happening.
     
  10. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    You also need a space between the last letter and the start of the ellipses ... According to MSWord, that is. I only know that because if you leave the gap and then want to delete the ellipses, it deletes all three dots together as one character.

    I'm hoping that all instances in book one are trailed off and not interrupted although at some stage, I will have to go through it and double check.

    x
     
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  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    The double hyphen that turns into a dash, works fab. I managed to find the smart quotes turn off thingy but I didn't like the results. Yes, it solved the problem by making the opening and closing quotes the same but they were too sharp on my eyes. I could not read the text flowingly because the straight quotes were like needles in my brain!

    So, I turned them back on again and changed the quotes back to 66's and 99's. In future, I will have to go the way @BayView suggested, put in the extra letter then arrow back and take the letter out.

    I wonder if MS know about that little glitch? (It's probably not actually a glitch, there's probably a reason why it does it but for me, it's an annoying little glitch!)

    :-D
     
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  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I've heard that too. It makes sense. I haven't got around to the exact formatting stage in my MS yet (be starting on it soon) but I'll be checking to see how that works.
     
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  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't know if MS Word auto corrects the ellipsis.

    Most people write it like this...
    But the correct way is to put a space between every period. . .
     
  14. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    MS will auto correct to a single-unit glyph, …

    I think the space between each period isn't an absolute rule, but a style. As I recall, AP has them jammed together, CMOS spaced out?
     
  15. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    correct way (according to msword and loads of on-line grammar sites) is actually like this ...

    One space after the word, then three dots together.
     
  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I think @BayView is right, the Chicago style is the one I'm thinking of.
     
  17. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The CMoS calls for three spaced periods.
     
  18. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    What I find really amusing about CMoS is that when you search 'ellipses' it brings up a list of entries with a short description detailing that entry, all of them followed by an ellipses which is shown with one space after the last letter of the last word and all with no spaces between each dot. :-D

    Unfortunately, that's as far as I can go with CMoS as I can't actually get into any of the entries to read the full text.
     
  19. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I have a copy of the CMoS, and that's where I got that info from.
     
  20. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I can get the listings on line, I just can't actually get into the papers. I think you have to sign up for something (or pay).

    As I'm not in Chicago (or even the US) it doesn't make that much difference to me what their style is as it seems they are in the minority. But still an interesting thing though, the differences in certain areas of grammar depending where you are in the world.
     
  21. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The CMoS is used by most publishers, so it's a good style guide to follow when in doubt.
     
  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Point taken but I'm not in doubt. Not about the ellipses.
     
  23. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure whether this has been brought up in this thread, but I'm pretty sure the reason why smart quotes interact strangely with dashes is not because of any bug but simply because dashes are often viewed by the program as whitespace characters.

    For example:
    “Hello World!–“

    Is viewed by the smart quote algorithm as if you had typed.

    “Hello World! “<– Notice the space between the exclamation mark and the closing quote. I don't actually use MS Word (LibreOffice has the same issue), so I'm not sure if this can be changed in the settings, but if you search the internet there may be a way to configure it.
    Personally, I haven't bothered trying to change it, since I do often use dashes but not nearly enough that using the common workaround is much of a problem.
     

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