Posted by: episystechpubs | October 22, 2013

Editor’s Corner: The elusive ellipsis

Good morning everyone and welcome to the new subscribers!

Let’s get right into today’s topic, the ellipsis (plural: ellipses). This piece of punctuation (…) is often misunderstood and misused. The primary purpose of the ellipsis is to indicate missing content. Occasionally it is also used to indicate a pause (though you might be better served with an em-dash). Since most of what we do is business writing, you should not see ellipses in our content. We don’t want to give the impression that material is missing or that we can’t complete a thought.

Here are a couple of examples of the appropriate use of ellipses from DailyWritingTips (and embellished a bit by me and Mrs. Wiggles).

1. To indicate a pause.

Example: And the Cutest Dog Award goes to . . . Mrs. Wiggles!

Note: A space precedes and follows the ellipsis.

2. To indicate an omitted sentence between two complete sentences.
Example
: I have been there. . . .It’s not worth the price of admission.
Notes: The period immediately after “I have been there” indicates this is a complete sentence. The ellipsis before the second sentence “It’s not worth the price of admission” indicates a sentence has been omitted.

More on ellipses tomorrow!

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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