1. Punctuate THIS!
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    Punctuate THIS! Member

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    Unfinished sentence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Punctuate THIS!, Oct 12, 2009.

    If a character starts a sentence that he intends for another to finish (but they don't), does the sentence still end with an em dash?
     
  2. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty sure you'd use ellipses for that. It's usually a question.

    "So, we're going with. . .?"
     
  3. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    If the speaker is interrupted, use an m-dash; if s/he just dribbles off, use an ellipsis. Is that what you are inquiring about?

    Ah, on re-reading, I see what you're after. Both punctuations create moods: the m-dash would represent a sudden stop and rapt anticipation; the ellipsis would produce a sense of hopelessness of a response from the second speaker.

    That's how I feel about it.
     
  4. Punctuate THIS!
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    Punctuate THIS! Member

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    The ellipsis-question mark looks good. I'm going to try it that way.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    either way, the readers won't be up on the fine line of distinction between the two, so just be consistent... if you're lucky enough to get a publisher, the editor and house rules will have the final say, anyway...
     

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