Dot Dot Dot – When and how to use those three dots “…“
These 3 little dots are called “ellipsis”. Now these little dots elicited quite a few comments from around the world, as they are almost always used incorrectly. You will see them in magazines, books, on websites, in newsletters, just used randomly.
In defence of our school systems around the world, I must say it’s possible that a lot of us were never taught about ellipsis – yes, we were drilled to learn spelling, grammar, punctuation, parts of speech … but ellipsis? I certainly don’t remember … although … perhaps it was when I was off school having my appendix removed at age 10? 🙂 Well, that’s my excuse!
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Helen of UK, Bob of USA, Lee of USA all wrote in to clear this up for us.
When you want to use *…* in emails and letters, there is a rule to follow.
word space dotdotdot space word
An example is, “The door opened slowly … then she heard the scream!” [/jbox]
When to use 4 dots instead of 3 ….
When the ellipsis is used at the end of a sentence, put four dots, for example:
* “He always wanted to have the last word …. His employees didn’t like him at all.”
Such a simple thing, but many people forget to put the space on either side of the three dots (fullstops/periods).
As with all things grammatical, different English speaking countries can have different rules [as well as different spelling and pronunciation!], so bear this in mind as you learn on the internet.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little lesson on Dot dot dot – the distracting ellipsis!