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ellipses are not used to designate a pause in writing

 
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:24 pm
According to dictionary.com, that is. No definition herein says that it can be used to show a pause. It is only used to convey an omission of words or phrases in a statement. Is this correct? If so, then I've been using these damn things totally incorrectly for the past...oh, I don't know...forty years or so.

So what gives? Is dictionary.com wrong, or is this one of those things like the word "nother" that has just evolved and has never been officially added as a proper usage?

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ellipses

1. Grammar.
a. the omission from a sentence or other construction of one or more words that would complete or clarify the construction, as the omission of who are, while I am, or while we are from I like to interview people sitting down.
b. the omission of one or more items from a construction in order to avoid repeating the identical or equivalent items that are in a preceding or following construction, as the omission of been to Paris from the second clause of I've been to Paris, but they haven't.
2. Printing. a mark or marks as "", …, or * * *, to indicate an omission or suppression of letters or words.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 16 • Views: 7,299 • Replies: 48

 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:35 pm
I've learned everything I know about grammar and sentence structure from Emily Dickenson - and I'm too old to change now.

I think we have something like 43 current and former English teachers on this site, plus about 36 editors. I'm sure one of them will give us the correct answer shortly.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:35 pm
This is terrible news for me as an ellipsophilic person, if I believed it.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:36 pm
@kickycan,

Yes. You're wrong. Tough.
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:37 pm
@McTag,
Look it up!
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:48 pm
@kickycan,
Generally the ellispe is used to convey the omission of words, as you have indicated.

It has evolved into a pause in e-mails.

That is the long and short of it.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  4  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:48 pm
@kickycan,
It is perfectly acceptable to use ellipses to indicate a rhetorical pause or silence
(aposiopesis).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:49 pm
I'll use that any goddamned way i want to . . . you got that ? ! ? ! ?
kickycan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:53 pm
@kickycan,
Okay, I looked it up, and dictionary.com is just not very good, I guess. I went and bothered one of the proofreaders here at work about it, and as he showed me, in the Chicago Manual of Style, there are a bunch of uses other than the omission of words...including a pause.

I also learned something new. If you use three ellipses, it means you are still in the same sentence, but if you are starting a new sentence after the first statement, you should use FOUR. Interesting, huh?

Ex. A) I had way too much milk this morning . . . and it hurts.

Ex. B) I had way too much milk this morning . . . . Didn't you hear me farting my brains out all day?
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:54 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I'll use that any goddamned way i want to . . . you got that ? ! ? ! ?


Ah, see, now that should have had four ellipses in it . . . . And the "Y" should have been capitalized.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:54 pm
@kickycan,
I think you need to do spaces after 'em though, like:


Ex. A) I had way too much milk this morning... and it hurts.

Ex. B) I had way too much milk this morning.... Didn't you hear me farting my brains out all day?

(One space after the in-sentence ellipse, two spaces after the sentence-ender.)

Not sure.
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:55 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

I think you need to do spaces after 'em though, like:


Ex. A) I had way too much milk this morning... and it hurts.

Ex. B) I had way too much milk this morning.... Didn't you hear me farting my brains out all day?

(One space after the in-sentence ellipse, two spaces after the sentence-ender.)

Not sure.


You are correct. Technically they should all have spaces in between, as well. I fixed it.
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:57 pm
@kickycan,
interesting... very interesting...

... R(always 3, never 4)P
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 01:00 pm
@Region Philbis,
occasionally two..
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 01:02 pm
I love learning something new.........
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 01:08 pm
@kickycan,
kickycan wrote:
You are correct. Technically they should all have spaces in between, as well. I fixed it.


Really? I did not know that.

Ah well... plan on ignoring it anyway. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 01:12 pm
I use 'em all the time...and I'm gonna continue to do so.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:49 pm
@Setanta,
Yeah! Me too....and don't you forget it either!!!!!
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 02:45 pm
@kickycan,
Quote:
So what gives? Is dictionary.com wrong,


Yes.

Quote:
or is this one of those things like the word "nother" that has just evolved and has never been officially added as a proper usage?


nother is perfectly proper usage, Kicky and it's been recognized as such by English speakers for over a hundred years.
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:40 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
nother is perfectly proper usage, Kicky and it's been recognized as such by English speakers for over a hundred years.


Yes, but not by proper English speakers.
 

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