Communication Skills

JS Tip 183: From the Writing Workshops: Using Ellipses, Part II

Last week, we talked about ellipses: the three spaced periods indicating deleted material or pauses.

Some circumstances call for four spaced periods.

Use four spaced periods if the deleted material follows a complete sentence.

Original

“After lunch, we met with the CFO and discussed contracts. He showed us the roses in his flower garden. We took the train back to the office.”

Rewrite

“After lunch, we met with the CFO and discussed contracts. . . . We took the train back to the office.”

The first period ends the “After lunch” sentence. Don’t put a space before it. The three spaced periods indicate the deleted material.

Use four spaced periods if the {C}{C}deleted material ends a sentence.

Original

“We left the draft on the editor’s desk, but no one looked at it.”

Rewrite

“We left the draft on the editor’s desk . . . .”

The three spaced periods indicate the deleted material. The final period ends the sentence. Put a space before it.

Next week we’ll review an old discussion: the serial comma. The Harvard comma. The Oxford comma.

Ask questions. We love this stuff.