Ellipsis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
ellipsis (narrative device), ellipsis (typography), the Pinter pause, omission, absence, gap, disjointed, unspoken
  1. in typography, a mark consisting of three periods, historically with spaces in between, before, and after them ( . . . ), used in printing to indicate an omission.
  2. in grammar, the omission of a grammatically required word or phrase that can be implied. For example, He is faster than she. (Here, a trailing "is fast" is omitted, grammatically required, and implied.)

Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Template:Lang-grc, élleipsis, "omission" or "falling short") is a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word in the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis). When placed at the end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy longing. The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech.

The most common form of an ellipsis is a row of three periods or full stops (...) or a pre-composed triple-dot glyph (…). The usage of the em dash (—) can overlap the usage of the ellipsis.

The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.

In writing

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, ellipsis was often used when a writer intentionally omitted a specific proper noun, such as a location: "Jan was born on ... Street in Warsaw."

An ellipsis may also imply an unstated alternative indicated by context. For example, when Count Dracula says "I never drink ... wine", the implication is that he does drink something else.

In reported speech, the ellipsis is sometimes used to represent an intentional silence, perhaps indicating irritation, dismay, shock or disgust. This definition is more known with younger, internet savvy generations.

In writing

The use of ellipses can either mislead or clarify, and the reader must rely on the good intentions of the writer who uses it. An example of this ambiguity is "She went to… school." In this sentence, "…" might represent the word "elementary". Omission of part of a quoted sentence without indication by an ellipsis (or bracketed text); e.g., "She went to school." as opposed to "She went to Broadmoor Elementary school." would mislead the readers.

An ellipsis at the end of the sentence that ends with a period (or such a period followed by an ellipsis) appears as four dots....

An ellipsis may also imply an unstated alternative indicated by context. For example, when Count Dracula says "I never drink … wine", the implication is that he does drink something else, which in the context would be blood. In such usage the ellipsis is stronger than a mere dash, where for example "I never drink — wine" might only indicate that the Count, not a native English speaker, was pausing to get the correct word.

In writing the speech of a character in fiction or nonfiction, the ellipsis is sometimes used to represent an intentional silence of a character, usually invoked to emphasize a character's irritation, appall or disgust in regards to the surroundings.

Synonyms




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ellipsis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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