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View Full Version : Ellipsis at the end of a quote, and at the end of a sentence.


Bartholomew
03-31-2009, 10:20 AM
I have a long quoted passage, but I'm cutting it off before the quote's sentence actually terminates, because its where *my* sentence needs to terminate. How should this end up looking?

"Blah blah blah [...]."

"Blah blah blah [...]".

"Blah blah blah...."

"Blah blah blah...".

X_x

If it makes any difference, this is something I'm preparing according to APA guidelines.

blacbird
03-31-2009, 11:26 AM
Door Number Three.

caw

Ludka
03-31-2009, 03:05 PM
I concur with the bird. Stick with the third.

Maryn
03-31-2009, 06:21 PM
Third vote for the third version. Does that make me special?

Maryn, special

Millicent M'Lady
03-31-2009, 06:24 PM
I'd vote for fourth because otherwise your ellipsis looks like it's four dots long.

Duncan J Macdonald
03-31-2009, 06:40 PM
I'd vote for fourth because otherwise your ellipsis looks like it's four dots long.
Except that an ellipsis at the end of a sentence is four dots long, the last dot being the period.

From the Columbia Gude to Standard American English (http://www.bartleby.com/68/58/2158.html):
Conventionally, use three periods within a sentence. When your ellipsis ends with the end of a phrase, clause, or sentence in the original, use four periods or three plus whatever mark ended the original.

kct webber
03-31-2009, 07:18 PM
Mr. Macdonald stole my reply. He's a bastid like that. :tongue

"If you are... you know... in the middle of a sentance, you use three. If not, well, you get it...."

ETA: By AP, are you meaning APA? In that case, I believe if you are cutting out part of the quote in from the middle, you would use this [...] to signal that a chunk of the quote has been removed. But still, if you are ending the quote short, you would use.... That's how I've always done APA papers and I've never been gigged on it. Doesn't necessarily make me right, though, so take it with a grain of salt. :o

Millicent M'Lady
03-31-2009, 07:26 PM
Except that an ellipsis at the end of a sentence is four dots long, the last dot being the period.

From the Columbia Gude to Standard American English (http://www.bartleby.com/68/58/2158.html):

My mistake, consider me suitably chastised!

For Oxford English though, I've just discovered, no further punctuation is required when an ellipsis ends a sentence.

kct webber
03-31-2009, 07:35 PM
I end sentences with three... all the time in my fiction, but that's counter to the rule I was taught. I don't do it in academic writing though.

Old Hack
04-01-2009, 12:47 AM
When I was an editor I worked for both UK and USA publishers. Where there was no specific house style we usually reverted to the advice in the Chicago Manual. I was advised to use an ellipsis in a quote to indicate that a chunk of text had been removed. So if I was only using part of the quote I'd end it like this in the UK, where added punctuation goes outside quote marks:

"god, I'm gorgeous".

Or like this in the USA where all punctuation goes inside the quote marks:

"god, I'm gorgeous."

I'd only use an ellipsis where text was missed out. So I'd quote an abbreviated version of my first sentence like this:

"I was told ... punctuation goes outside quote marks:"

Note the change in meaning. You can be very clever with quoting if your ethics are awry.

And the ellipsis is a whole other ball-game. I punctuate it (so add that final full stop if it comes at the end of a sentence, or sometimes an exclamation mark or question mark instead, like this...!); and I use a space after it if it's indicating a trailing-off, but spaces before and after if it indicates that text has been removed.

I could write for hours on the ellipsis, but I think I'd better stop now, having confused everyone. Sorry.

Bartholomew
04-01-2009, 02:47 AM
Yes, I meant APA! My mistake.

Thanks for all of your help!

I ended up with this: "Blah [...] Blah blah final part I need..." (2003). (Yeah. I forgot the citation. Growl.)

Julie Worth
04-01-2009, 02:53 AM
In the US punctuation goes inside the quote mark. I've heard arguments for using four periods at the end of a sentence, but I don't worry about it and always use three. I doubt that readers actually care.

shokadh
04-01-2009, 05:49 AM
When your quoted words make a complete sentence, use four ellipses:

"I was going to reload the pistol...."

When your quoted words do not make a complete sentence, use three ellipses:

"I was going to..."

Duncan J Macdonald
04-01-2009, 07:01 PM
When your quoted words make a complete sentence, use four ellipses:

That's twelve dots then.............

marisaMARTYR
04-02-2009, 05:26 AM
It should be "Blah blah blah..."

ComicBent
04-02-2009, 10:23 AM
"Blah blah blah...." is correct. (Well, there is an issue about spacing the dots, but that is a different subject. :))

You should, first of all, go by any guidelines that your style manual advises. Otherwise, follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Its discussion of ellipsis is great.

Essentially there are two approaches to ellipsis: what I might call the strict and the loose. The Chicago Manual of Style discusses these and condones both. I prefer the simpler, loose approach.

Anyone who wants can check out my own discussion of the whole ellipsis issue in my essay on ellipsis (http://www.rolandstroud.com/downloads), which is a PDF file.

Charlie Horse
04-02-2009, 07:45 PM
In typography, often time there will be a slight space (hair space) between the period at the end of the sentence and the ellipsis for obvious reasons, although this is mainly dependent on the house style of the publisher.

Chase
04-03-2009, 05:26 AM
When your quoted words make a complete sentence, use four ellipses:

That's twelve dots then.............

Correct. Known in literature as "the Shokadh overdot," four ellipses are twelve dots. Everyone knows that, because ellipses is plural, usually three single ellipsis points. The controversy raging is should they be:

Blah blah............

Blah blah. . . . . . . . . . . .

Blah blah... ... ... ...

Blah blah.... .... ....

shokadh
04-03-2009, 06:21 AM
Correct. Known in literature as "the Shokadh overdot," four ellipses are twelve dots. Everyone knows that, because ellipses is plural, usually three single ellipsis points. The controversy raging is should they be:

Blah blah............

Blah blah. . . . . . . . . . . .

Blah blah... ... ... ...

Blah blah.... .... ....

LOL....... ........ .......heh...

That's right people...

Sentosa
08-18-2010, 10:06 AM
Anyone who wants can check out my own discussion of the whole ellipsis issue in my essay on ellipsis (http://www.rolandstroud.com/downloads), which is a PDF file.

Being a "newish" member of the group, I've been browsing through various postings. I followed the above link, which took me to your valuable document full of links. Your link to HP's Dark Courier solved what I had begun to believe was an insoluable issue, and I am so grateful to you.

This was the first of many links to Dark Courier that actually worked and installed on my computer.

Fallen
08-18-2010, 01:54 PM
Okay, now I'm floored. I didn't know about (....) or (...) debate. Hah, you learn something new everyday. Elipses + full stop looks pretty alien to me...

Dr.Gonzo
08-18-2010, 06:11 PM
I still get confused about whether I should have a stop before said punctuation. When I see example of '...' in the novels I read, they always have a space before. Any light to shed?

Fallen
08-18-2010, 07:15 PM
Dr G, perhaps it's because that punctuation mark is just taking the place of a word (and that missing word would naturally have spaces):

It's your ... car (It's your bloody car)

So the middle ellipsis like this is recognised by it's spaces.

The end ellipsis... There's no space for us over here, maybe because it shows that it's end ellipsis...?

To be honest, this isn't something I've really taken much notice of. Maybe Medieval
or someone else can be more precise...? :D

claws2
08-19-2010, 01:14 PM
My 2 cents. :D

First off, I'm in Yankee land, and so, our punctuation (AmE) is probably going to differ from those on the other side of the pond, which would be the BrE (and in other former BrE lands).

In commercially printed stories in AmE, it is extremely rare to see the use of three ellipsis points to end a block of text where the first point is in the location of where a period (full stop) could be located--which is the spot right next to the last character,
e.g.,
The end ellipsis...

I think that practice might be somewhat common in BrE, but I don't know.

For us yankees (AmE), one of the following is more common,
AmE: This could be an ending ellipsis . . .
AmE: This could be an ending ellipsis. . . .


For punctuation in fiction prose, many of us (AmE) tend to sorta rely somewhat on what The Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) suggests.

CMoS has recently put out a 16th edition, which I'm not planning to pick up. But I do have a copy of the 14th and 15th editions handy. Ellipsis points is handled better in the 14th edition, imo, while the 15th seems to make the usage more complicated.

Basically, in the 14th edition, there are two common methods:
-- 3 dots, where basically three ellipsis points are used, with spaces between and before and after each point, e.g., ". . . in the house . . . and ended . . ." which means that an ellipsis point will (usually) not be located in the spot right next to any adjoining text (except for some punctuation marks, e.g., double quotation marks). And this 3 dot sequence is used everywhere in the text, including the end of a block of text. I tend to think this is a very easy and simple method.
-- 2nd method (which is sorta recommended by CMoS 14th edition), which is more complicated and could sometimes end up having four dots for the ellipsis (where the 1st dot acts like the period (full stop) to end a sentence).

CMoS 15th edition, it gets more complicated as it mentions three common methods: a three-dot method, a three-or-four-dot method, a rigorous method (a refinement of the three-or-four-dot method). . . .

And of course, writers and editors that have to follow a style guide, well then they'll probably have to check out that guide for guidance or something, maybe. . . .

Anyway . . .

As for those using BrE, well, I guess all I can actually do is shrug for you all as I don't really know much about that.

Hope this helps. :)
imo.


Edited to add:
Whoops! Just noticed this at the bottom of the OP's post,
If it makes any difference, this is something I'm preparing according to APA guidelines.
Er, guess ya might as well ignore my post. :(

Hey! The OP's post was in March of 2009! ... er! Run and scatter! A vampire thread has risen!

Barber
08-19-2010, 07:23 PM
I'm sorry if I'm about to repeat someone's answer (I read through as many of the replies as I could). I'm also sorry if my explanation's not very good. I'll try though!

Further to what ComicBent said, elipses are a bit of a style preference (like serial commas). In school, I was taught that ... (3 elipses) is the one you use to show a pause, whereas .... (4 elipses) is what you use when there are words missing at the end, sort of like the fourth . stands in for the words omitted before the person trailed off. Not sure if I'm saying that right.

And maybe it depends on the style book the editor refers to, but I notice both styles used in the books I read. Sometimes there's that 4th . and sometimes there are only 3, regardless to completed or incompleted sentences.

I personally hate the 4th .

The spacing of the .s is a totally different issue, and I've even heard it comes down to a regional thing (spaces in the UK, no spaces in the US). I prefer only a space at the end of the elipses. I've seen it as:

Blah blah blah ... Blah.
Blah blah blah . . . Blah.
Blah blah blah... Blah.

As for the OP, are you saying the stuff before the elipses is a quote, as in someone quoting someone else? If that's the case my understanding is it would be:

"Rick, remember when Eileen went on about, 'Blah, blah, blah...'."

I'm probably wrong, since you didn't indicate any quotes within quotes, which is yet another issue, LOL.

Barber
08-19-2010, 07:24 PM
Hey! The OP's post was in March of 2009! ... er! Run and scatter! A vampire thread has risen!

Aw, man! I wish I'd noticed this BEFORE I went and rambled on incoherently for ten minutes!