Joy Lynn Goddard

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Write Right

December 4, 2017

 

Writing Tip of the Week

Let's look at the ellipsis (three periods), which is often used inappropriately in advertising to imply hidden meaning or to separate groups of words.  When should the ellipsis be used?  Check out

Five Facts about the Ellipsis:  

1. To Indicate a Slow-down in Thought or Conversation

Use an ellipsis to show a pause in dialogue.

"He's . . . awesome!" she announced.

He gazed into her eyes until the moment was right, then slowly . . . gently . . . a kiss.  

2. To Show Omitted Words

Use an ellipsis to indicate that one or more words have been left out of a quotation:

Premier Kathleen Wynne's complete quote: 

"There's a lot of work that has to be done in the math curriculum," she said. "We know there are challenges with the math curriculum. Even though we've got great staff and we've put lots of money into the teaching of math, still there's something going on there that we're just not feeling like we're seeing the results we should."

 

Shortened quote: "There's a lot of work that has to be done in the math curriculum," she said. "We know there are challenges with the math curriculum. Even though we've got great staff and we've put lots of money into . . . math, still there's something going on there that we're just not . . . seeing the results we should."

 

3. To Show Omitted Words at the End of a Quoted Sentence:

Use a period followed by three dots when the words left out are at the end of a sentence.  

"There's a lot of work that has to be done in the math curriculum," she said. "We know there are challenges with the math curriculum. Even though we've got great staff and we've put lots of money into the teaching of math, still there's something going on there that we're just not feeling like we're seeing the results we should."

 

"There's a lot of work that has to be done in the math curriculum," she said. "We know there are challenges . . . . Even though we've got great staff and we've put lots of money into the teaching of math, still there's something going on there that we're just not feeling like we're seeing the results we should."

 

4. To Show a Sentence Trailing Off

Use the ellipsis to entice the reader to turn the page to find out what happens next.

Camping in the woods, Jackson was just about to turn in for the night when he heard . . .

 

5. To Show a Long, Slow break

There it was again . . . that tap on the window.

 

Leave one space before, after, and between each period when typing the ellipsis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

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