Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Ellipsis

Lately this little writing device has been giving me multiple headaches. First of all, I have always thought there were no spaces when using an ellipsis, such as, "I went to buy milk and...anyway, then I ran into...".

So then I started seeing tons of people in columns, messageboard posts, and scripts I was lettering using a space after the ellipsis, like so, "I went to buy milk and... anyway, then I ran into... ".

So after dealing with this headache I looked it up and found we actually use it wrong anyway. Aside from the examples above, we use it at times to bridge to thoughts broken by separate balloons or whatever. This is actually an incorrect use. It's supposed to be used to omit words, such as the examples above, which is good to know now.

But I also learned that not only is there supposed to be a space after the ellipsis, but unless it's a cut off word there's supposed to be one before!

Using the above example, it actually should be, "I went to buy milk and ... anyway, then I ran into ... ".

Now that doesn't look right at all to me, but that's what my research revealed.

If it's a cut off word then it's okay if there isn't a space, like, "I went to buy mil... anyway, then I ran into ... ".

The spaces still don't look or feel right to me at all, though, so I don't know. I'm beginning to loathe the device.


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