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StoryJunkie

Ellipses...

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I was surprised by the "..." on spell checker. If you use two dots or four, it revises it automatically to three. I didn't care if any "..."s were illegal, I'd put them in anyway, but I wasn't quite sure until the first time it was corrected.

Another thing I was surprised at was beginning a sentence with "And", which was a no-no when I went to school. The first time I started a sentence with "And", spell checker capitalized it and it seemed okay. Now whenever I start a sentence with "And", I kind of feel like the Rebel Without A Cause. biggrin.gif

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I always thought that "..." was a way to "drift" the end of a sentence. Which probably sounds like a weird way to explain it but my brain is slightly baked due to the heat. That and there should always be a space after the "..."s or else it then connects the thought/sentence together(which can go against what you're trying to do).

Does that make any sense? ph34r.gif

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Guest DarkAvenger
I always thought that "..." was a way to "drift" the end of a sentence. Which probably sounds like a weird way to explain it but my brain is slightly baked due to the heat. That and there should always be a space after the "..."s or else it then connects the thought/sentence together(which can go against what you're trying to do).

Does that make any sense? ph34r.gif

Yup, makes perfect sense. You can use it mid-sentence too, but like I said before, I think it's preferable (if not a rule) that there should be a space after it, no matter where it's at within the sentence.

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Alright, this has really made me curious because I tend to us ellipses a lot in my writing. What I thought I remembered from school is that there is no space before or after the ellipses, like this:

"I’m here because…I suddenly find myself very attracted to you, and…I believe that the feeling is mutual."

And if you use them at the end of a sentence, as in trailing off, it's four like this:

"No, it doesn’t. I just assumed…." she let it trail off without finishing.

So I did some research. Wiki has this to say (emphasis mine):

Ellipsis [. . .] in linguistics refers to any omitted part of speech that is understood; i.e. the omission is intentional. Analogously, in printing and writing, the term refers to the row of three spaced dots ( . . . ) or asterisks (* * *) indicating such an intentional omission. This punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.

An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence. Ellipses are sometimes used in this manner for internet chat, email, and forum posts.

So, I guess I've been wrong and they should have spaces between them instead of being all bunched up. Whoops! The spaces before and after seem to be a matter open for debate:

Although some write ellipses without spaces, some institutions, such as the Oxford University Press, place one space in front of three non-spaced periods. Thus: “I have seen something ...” instead of “I have seen something . . .” The exception here is when a word has been cut off in the middle; that is, when the ellipsis stands for a part of one word: “‘He said he realized he was wro…’ I stopped mid-word, awestruck.” (In English this is often written as “‘He said he realized he was wro—’ I stopped mid-word, awestruck.”)

And slightly further down the page:

Bringhurst suggests that normally an ellipsis should be spaced fore-and-aft to separate it from the text, but when it combines with other punctuation, the leading space disappears and the other punctuation follows. He provides the following examples:

i ... j k.... l..., l l, ... l m...? n...!

Personally, I think they look weird with a space before and after, but what do I know? I'm just a writer and an avid reader.

I also found a helpful article at The Blue Quill: Ellipses...why we love them...how we abuse them

So, is everyone else as confused as I am now? unsure.gif

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Guest Serenanna

I use ellipses all the time, and space them, but then again, I got by Word's funky grammer check, so . . .

Like you can see, it's a force of habit now.

wink.gif

I say just go with whatever works for you, but just be consistant.

Sere

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Guest Melody Fate

I love ... I adore it. To me it's always been a way of showing the characters hesitating. "Honestly....I think we should wait." I get the feeling the character who said that actually did pause for a moment, and collected her thoughts.

However, if you read professional books, you'll notice they aren't used nearly as much as we of amateur writing use them. Which tells me that we're probably using them way too much.

Do I still use them? Yes. But now I try to not use them too. Thus the above sentence would become:

"Honestly," she paused for a moment, clearly to collect her thoughts before continuing, "I think we should wait."

They don't bother me to see others use them, but I do try for myself, just because I am trying to make my writing look more professional for my own reasons.

It's the same with the Blond or blonde issue. I really don't care what people do, but since the schools seem to be so divided, I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. Which, seems to have worked! laugh.gif

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I use ellipses all the time, and space them, but then again, I got by Word's funky grammer check, so . . .

Funny, Word never bitches about mine being all smushed together.... wink.gif

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Guest Mike256bit

Typically, I do this . . . when I want to pause the sentence or quote and then continue.

But other times I'll do this. . . It indicates that I'm changing to a new sentence.

Adding a space before the elipses indicates that the leading and following phrases are part of the same sentence, whereas no leading space separates them.

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Guest Melody Fate
Funny, Word never bitches about mine being all smushed together.... wink.gif

Mom, Word loves Nanaea more than meeeee! It's not faaaair! biggrin.gif

Actually, I think that might be something you can check/uncheck in options.

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Mom, Word loves Nanaea more than meeeee!  It's not faaaair! biggrin.gif

Actually, I played with it last night and noticed that it automatically spaced them like this . . . when I type them. wink.gif

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Guest Melody Fate
Actually, I played with it last night and noticed that it automatically spaced them like this . . . when I type them. wink.gif

Yeah, I think you can have it set up to automatically do that so it won't squawk, just change. If you don't have it on auto, it will squawk.

Speaking of auto correct or not auto correct, am I the only one who immedietly takes the computer off of "Spell check as you type" because they can't stand the red line? Every time the thing finds a spelling mistake and does that, all I can picture is some third grader standing behind me going, "Misspelled another one, misspelled another one!"

I type, then when I'm finished I spellcheck.

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Guest DarkAvenger

I leave the auto spell check on, turned off the auto grammar check though... it messed me up more so than not. *shrug*

I also have all fancy quotes, fancy ...'s and basically any other "auto format" option turned 100% off. Why, you ask? Because in some browsers, if you upload an html file from word to a site and then view it, the "fancy" stuff is all these little diamonds with question marks in them. That drove me bananas for about a week after I got firefox (which I LOVE with a passion). So, after a week, I turned it alllll off and now, I'm happy, lol.

Basically, I have spell check, and that's it. *shrug* I grammar check sometimes after I've written a chapter, but lately, I've been getting everything back with no corrections, so... who knows, maybe I didn't need grammar check! *laughs*

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The thing with Word's grammer check and spell check features is that two people might get two different things if they have the settings changed.

For example, I have my grammer check set on formal writing, which catches way more than the default setting. Grammer check is really only useful for people who have a good grasp on grammer in the first place, because Word does not read what you write. It takes what it "sees" and suggests ways the writing might be better. Most of the time it is wrong. I use the formal setting mainly because it tells me where I have used passive voice.

Anyway, when it comes to spell check, Word is seriously lacking. If Word tells you that you are wrong in the way you have spelled something and you think you are right, look it up in a dictionary before you believe the program. Sometimes it needs you to tell it that grey and gray are both correct. whip.gif

Also, if words like center/centre or tire/tyre are being corrected incorrectly for your language, make sure that the language your program is set to is the correct one. These spellings are American English/England's English respectively.

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Guest Big Samurai

The ellipsis is my enemy when I am in Beta Mode for another author, since so many people think that the way it is used in manga and video games is acceptable in the standard fiction format. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, it isn't. Just have to remember that it's three dots for a long pause, four to trail off.

I was also taught that starting a sentence with 'And' in anything but dialogue is a major no-no, and I correct that frequently, too.

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I tend to use ellipsis a lot, especially to indicate pauses in dialogue, or when a character is interrupted while speaking, or there is overlapping conversation. Also, if a character's thoughts are kind of bouncing to and fro. I never space those pesky little dots. I guess that's my bad. *shrug*. I was also taught to never begin a sentence with "And" unless it's dialogue, and I do follow that, but I tend to break the rules all the time, 'cause deep down, I want to be a rebel. Without a clue. cool.gif

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The ellipses is a very useful tool. It is used to tell the reader when something is being intentionally left out by the author.

It can be used for pauses in thought or conversation, but these pauses should be considerable. If the pause is naturally in a sentence, it should be indicated with a comma. I have seen people pretty much replace the comma in their work with ellipses. Too much ellipses use can be very distracting to the reader.

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Technically, if it's at the end of a sentence, it's supposed to have four dots (three for the elipisis and one is a period.) Unfortunately, that doesn't pass MS word's muster.

Starting a sentence with a conjunction is a gramatical error; however, that doesn't stop people from doing it. Language itself is like sand, as X.J. Kennedy put it. It is ever shifting, and changes to suit the zeitgeist. If you do not believe me, read some medieval tale in the original middle English. Most of the words in use today were, at one time or another, slang.

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I have everything on and I like it when Word switches words of sentences around for me, but I hate it when it comes up with jargon like "Negate...blah-blah!' That gets on my nerves because I don't know what the hell it's on about.

I used to write Blonde, and then I all of a sudden remembered that those words come from the French language, and I was told in French at school that its Blonde for a female or Blond for a male.

Like its Fiancee if a guy is talking about the girl he's engaged to and its Fiance if the girl is talking about the guy.

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Guest maiafay

I don't use them to often in normal prose, but in dream sequences and strains of consciousness...I use them heavily. Though I would like to point out as someone above did....Four dots indicate a trailing thought and then another independent clause. You use three to pause technically, or trail off. Four dots are the proper way to trail and then pick up another sentence.

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I'm guilty of using dots, but not all the time. There are so many different writing styles on AFF, that I've grown to love. My style tends to stay about the same for every fic I write.

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I love to use them, but I have been undergoing therapy to get over my addiction. I use them for trailing thoughts, pauses, and to indicate dramatic vocal inflections. I was always taught that three dots, with spaces between, were used in the middle of sentences, and four dots at the end. Three dots and one period, basically. I see that method used in many printed books.

After I started writing fan fiction, I ebgan getting lots of criticism for ellipses usage. Some people wanted them spaced, not spaced, used, not used, three dots, four dots, or only used at the ends of sentences. I found that no matter hwo i used them there was always someone who thought it was wrong. So I just imitate what I see in printed books.

If it works for Scribner, Plume, Penguin, etc. then it works for me.

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Technically, all that I learned in school that elipses were used for, was when (for example) you quote a portion of text from somewhere in the middle of a full text. The elipse is then used to indicate that there is more to the original than just what you put down.

The use of the elipse to indicate a pause or hesitation in dialogue or thought stems from the "final fantasy generation." The older final fantasy games used an elipse for these reasons, and with the help of the internet has become a popular method of portraying such. At least that is the only theory I can come up with.

As I'm sure my English teachers might have slapped me for using an eclipse in such a manner. Granted, it's much easier to use an eclipse for a hesitation, I don't think it's an actual grammatical law (yet). If you want a hesitation, you should literally say the character is hesitating. Or studdering. Or stalling. You get the point biggrin.gif

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