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    #1

    Three dots

    "He told me, ‘Watch how [Fisher] picks up full-court. That’s what I want you to do’. And he gave me the opportunity tonight.

    For one night, at least, it worked out spectacularly well and rescued the Hawks from a puzzling skid in the process."

    (Source: TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.)

    What are the three dots between "well" and "and" called? I don't think they're ellipsis dots since they're not being used to indicate omitted words. What is their function? To introduce a pause?

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: Three dots

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "He told me, ‘Watch how [Fisher] picks up full-court. That’s what I want you to do’. And he gave me the opportunity tonight.

    For one night, at least, it worked out spectacularly well and rescued the Hawks from a puzzling skid in the process."

    (Source: TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.)

    What are the three dots between "well" and "and" called? I don't think they're ellipsis dots since they're not being used to indicate omitted words. What is their function? To introduce a pause?

    Thanks!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Jasmin,


    (1) I have found a source (nationalpunctuationday.com) that seems

    to agree with you: they do represent a pause. Here is what it says:

    The ellipsis can also be used to indicate a PAUSE [my emphasis]
    in the flow of a sentence and is especially useful in quoted material.

    It gives these two examples:

    Juan thought and thought . . . and then thought some more.

    "I'm wondering . . ." Juan said, bemused.

    (2) I then found this in The Chicago Manual of Style (which, as you know, is followed by many American authors):

    Ellipsis points suggest faltering or fragmented speech accompanied
    by confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty, and they should be reserved for that purpose.

    Its examples include:

    "The binoculars . . . where the devil did I put them?"

    "The ship . . . oh my God! . . . it's sinking!" cried Henrietta.

    (3) The same book has something else quite interesting. It says:

    Three closely spaced periods -- SUSPENSION POINTS [my emphasis] -- are frequently used to indicate interruptions or sudden breaks in thought.

    Unfortunately, it does not give any examples in English. There is an example in French, but since I do not know French, I dare not quote it. I might accidently offend someone.

    The bottom line:

    It seems that you are 100% correct. Those ellipsis points/dots simply

    reflect a pause (not any missing words).

    P.S. I could not find my source, but I understand some authors use

    three points to let their voice trail off. Here is a terrible example that I

    have made up:

    I told my friends that I was going to beat up George for saying those

    unkind words about Mona, but when I saw how big George was . . .

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    #3

    Re: Three dots

    I think that's a great example.

    When I put the three dots at the end of a sentence, I feel that the sentence should be complete. The extra dots indicate that I am implying something more which the reader can guess.

    So in your example I would just use 'then' instead of 'when'.

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    #4

    Re: Three dots

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "He told me, ‘Watch how [Fisher] picks up full-court. That’s what I want you to do’. And he gave me the opportunity tonight.

    For one night, at least, it worked out spectacularly well and rescued the Hawks from a puzzling skid in the process."

    (Source: TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.)

    What are the three dots between "well" and "and" called? I don't think they're ellipsis dots since they're not being used to indicate omitted words. What is their function? To introduce a pause?

    Thanks!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Jasmin,


    (1) Great news!!! I have located a wonderful answer in Professor

    Sidney Greenbaum's The Oxford English Grammar.

    (2) He says that if it is a real ellipsis (missing words), then you can call

    those periods ellipsis dots/points/periods.

    (3) But if there are no missing words and those periods are being used

    to indicate "hesitations and pauses of various kinds," then he suggests

    they should be called suspension periods. His examples include:

    Bereavement is so . . . yes it does feel like fear.

    it was . . . Emma sought for a civilized word . . . sloppy.

    IMPORTANT: Both the professor and Chicago point out that a

    STRONGER pause can be indicated by a dash.

    Thus, I guess your blog writer could have written it this way:

    For one night, at least, it worked out spectacularly well --

    and rescued the Hawks from a puzzling skid in the process.

    (4) Thanks so much for your great question. I learned so much.
    Last edited by TheParser; 14-Mar-2011 at 13:29.

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    #5

    Re: Three dots

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Jasmin,


    (1) Great news!!! I have located a wonderful answer in Professor

    Sidney Greenbaum's The Oxford English Grammar.

    (2) He says that if it is a real ellipsis (missing words), then you can call

    those periods ellipsis dots/points/periods.

    (3) But if there are no missing words and those periods are being used

    to indicate "hestitations and pauses of various kinds," then he suggests

    they should be called suspension periods. His examples include:

    Bereavement is so . . . yes it does feel like fear.

    it was . . . Emma sought for a civilized word . . . sloppy.

    IMPORTANT: Both the professor and Chicago point out that a

    STRONGER pause can be indicated by a dash.

    Thus, I guess your blog writer could have written it this way:

    For one night, at least, it worked out spectacularly well --

    and rescued the Hawks from a puzzling skid in the process.

    (4) Thanks so much for your great question. I learned so much.
    Thank you very much!

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