1. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two questions about "..."

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Shadow Dragon, Dec 23, 2008.

    Ok, my first question is, what is it called when you use three periods in a row to create that dramatic pause? I like to use this in my dialogue once in a while, so I figure that I should probably find out what's it called.

    Secondly, should you use a space when starting the next word, should you just start the next word, or is both ways alright? For example, should it be:

    "I...I love you."

    or

    "I... I love you."

    I've seen it done both ways, but I'm not sure if one of them is grammactically incorrect.
     
  2. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    It is called an ellipsis (plural:ellipses).

    When you use them in the middle of quotations, I hear the grammatically correct form is to have a space between the elipsis.

    "I . . . I love you."

    But I'm not so good with ellipses either.
     
  3. Jack
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    Jack Contributing Member

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    I use this a lot, I hope its not a bad thing... (lol, I just used it)


    My definition
    Basically when people use " ... " means that their either thinking to what they should say next or waiting on the other person to reply back to something.
     
  4. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    Both are actually incorrect. There's a space before and after an ellipsis. Like so:

    "I ... love you."
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...not really, because the 'ellipsis' iitself actually consists of 3 periods...so, it's the 'periods/dots' that have a bit of space between them, not the ellipsis...

    ...when you type one in ms word, it will automatically space them out, if you hit the backspace button right after typing the three closely-spaced periods...

    that would be correct, if the dots in the ellipsis and the spaces before and after it were equal, which they are not in this example... see how to do that above...
     
  6. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    From what I've heard lately around different places, all of them are grammatically correct and it's really up the style that the publisher prefers.
     
  7. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've also heard there's supposed to be a fourth dot when it ends a complete sentence:

    In this case, it's used for a long pause, to emphasize the long amount of time the narrator spends searching the store for milk. I've also heard question marks ("?") and exclamation marks ("!") can be used in place of the fourth period when needed, but I typically stay away from those; they look strange.
     

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