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  1. #1
    hopechest is offline Newbie
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    Ellipses, Hyphens, & Parentheses

    Iíve seen them used in published novels, and I myself use them. However I often see them overused and abused in fanfiction, so I try to used them judiciously, but recently Iíve begun to second guess myself. What are the rules for using the famed triple dots? For instance, one person told me that at the end of a sentence you use four dots instead. Is that true? Even allowing for creative license such as one might see in stream of consciousness when should it be avoided at all costs?



    While Iím on the topic, what about hyphens Ė such as this which Iíve also seen used in novels by various authors Ė and parentheses (which people like to use a lot as well)?

  2. #2
    Nahualli Guest

    Re: Ellipses, Hyphens, & Parentheses

    This is a really large topic with a lot of points of contention from all sides. I read an excellent, excellent book about this. It's called Eats, Shoots and Leaves. The name of the author eludes me but it's a great read and it's about this very thing : punctuation, the lack of it and the misuse of it. Do check it out, you will not regret it !

    -Nah-

  3. #3
    hopechest is offline Newbie
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    Re: Ellipses, Hyphens, & Parentheses

    I have that book, but, if memory serves me correctly, it covers punctuation and grammar as a whole, a much much larger topic than this one. I'm hoping for some summarized rules regarding ellipses, hyphens, and parentheses and/or links dealing specifically with this topic.
    Last edited by hopechest; 10-Nov-2004 at 20:46.

  4. #4
    Nahualli Guest

    Re: Ellipses, Hyphens, & Parentheses

    Everything you've mentioned is in that book. If you already own it, you can just read the sections dedicated to it, it's pretty succinct. Yes she does include a lot of anecdotes and stuff but at the end of each chapter she bullets out what she's covered.

    Hope it doesn't sound like I'm just trying to be unhelpful. I[m not, but at the same time I don't want to lead you astray with half-assed information so I will politely bow out of this one. I'm just calling attention to a resource which you apparantely already have. Perhaps it's time to take a closer look, all the information you asked for is in there.

    -Nah-

  5. #5
    Nahualli Guest

    Re: Ellipses, Hyphens, & Parentheses

    oh hey ! I found this link check it out looks pretty basic and straightforward

    http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.co...nctuation.html

    -Nah-

  6. #6
    Nahualli Guest

    Re: Ellipses, Hyphens, & Parentheses

    One more reply on this.....

    Take some of what you see on Kim's site with a grain of salt, for instance she has a few examples I don't agree with

    "Connie just found out that she has a half sister."

    That indicates to me that there is literally half of a person who should be her sister, sitting in front of her. It does not indicate a loose family relation. In my experience when you're stating that kind of relationship, the correct thing to do is to say exactly the opposite "a half-sister".

    The other example is

    "I just bought a dot-matrix printer" which I also have a problem with. See she's looking at it from a very elementary perspective of adjective/noun relationship and what she's ignoring is that some words have simply evolved to where they exist while defying conventional puntuation and grammar rules. Walk into a computer store and tell me what you see, a "dot matrix" printer or a "dot-matrix" printer. Google "dot-matrix" and 90% of the hits you get return "dot matrix". The hyphenated relationship is simply not recognized.

    Anyways, hope it helps a little bit. Some of her other examples are very good.

    -Nah-

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