Being a teacher dealing with Editorial Design at a kind of Applied Arts School in Vienna Austria (die Graphische Bundes- Lehr, und Versuchsanstalt) I feel obliged to proclaim some rules for the use of the Ellipsis (...), hoping very badly that they are valid for other languages and above all English too.
- On the Apple keyboard and within certain desktop applications and font design software there is a correct letter for the Ellipsis (Alt-.) As we cannot be certain if all browsers, platforms or font formats display this letter correctly, the best alternative is three dots.
- Or lets try the " … " and wait for feedback: How does the Ellipsis in this sentence look for you?
- If a word is complete followed by the Ellipsis, there should be a blank (space) after the word: Word ..., not: Word...,
- If a word fades out, there is no blank: "Ass... for Asshole."
- If a word fades in, there is no blank: "...hole for Asshole."
- If the Ellipsis is followed by a exclamation sign, question mark, colon, semicolon, brackets or something similar, there is no blank: "fading ...; not: fading ... ;"
- There is no period after the Ellipsis if the sentence ends ... (not: ends ....)
It would be fine and more professional from the word-processional side if we could follow these rules in the future.
There are some rules for hyphens, dashes etcetera. Maybe we could go there too?
I hope I don't sound like a typical teacher to you. Don't get me wrong, I can live perfectly with the articles as they are ... just thought you might want to know.
Propellerkuh 08:49, 20 December 2007 (PST)
Hm, I'm not completely sure if I'm using it correctly. I was only doing it as I am used to at the university (which includes transscriptions of oral documents).
That being said, I was absolutely unfamiliar with the rules you posted. But the way I see it, the only mistake I (repeatedly!) made in this article is what you stated in (3), i.e. not putting a blank after a word followed by an ellipsis. Is that correct? I've looked it up in the English Wikipedia (wiki:Ellipsis), and the rules given there are slightly different from what you wrote under (3).
I'm also used to making a distinction between "..." and "(...)". I use the former if the speaker makes a pause or fades out (indicating: there is nothing here), and the latter if I willingly omit something or did not understand something (indicating: there is something here).
I've also noticed some inconsistent use of the ellipsis in this wiki, mostly with regards to spacing within the ellipsis ("..." vs. ". . ."). Any idea about that?
--Fishbrain 11:32, 20 December 2007 (PST)
Oh, and as for hyphens and dashes etc.: I'm also not too sure with those. I usually use a dash if a word is interrupted half-way (e.g. "Hi, how are you do--" - "Shut up!"). And I usually make a distinction between being interrupted and fading out (where, as I've stated before, I usually use ellipsis).
Another thing that comes to my mind: is it okay to make two hyphens for a dash? I just realised that the only reason I do that might be that word processors like Word automatically transform those into a dash. But I'm not too sure anymore if it's formally correct.
Anyway, thanks for your advice. It is much appreciated. :)
--Fishbrain 11:42, 20 December 2007 (PST)
I took the rules from the "Österreichisches Wörterbuch", which seem to make sense, at least to me in my native language. I saw you made the (3)-mistake and so I thought I might help ... I think it makes a clear enough disctinction between a fading word and a fading sentence.
Another reason for me is the behaving of hyphenation in layout software like XPress or InDesign. See also the blanks inside of bracketed sentences: should never be thus: ( sentence ). Because in this case the software sometimes puts the right bracket at the begin of a line.
As for the -- instead of the dash I'm completely lost because of the different computing platforms. I prefer the -- instead of seeing some ? when the right font is missing.
As for the difference between "..." and "(...)" I'm completely with you – and it should look like this "(...)" while we obviously cannot use [...] as it becomes pretty complicated with double ... don't you think?
("..." vs. ". . ."): most fonts have the Ellipsis almost normally spaced, they almost look like three dots without spaces. Some (older) fonts have them a little bit spaced. Anyway, the letter was only one piece of lead and needs only one click on the keyboard. And a space between the dots may again put some of the dots in the next line which completely makes no sense and makes reading uneasy.
So either "..." or "…" where the second "…" is (Alt-.) on the Apple keyboard. I hope that with (in the Apple world not whole-heartedly continued) True Type Font format or the Open Type Font format that may hopefully become standard for all platforms with 70.000+ glyphs in a single font that might become easier with time.
BTW: Are you located in Bavaria or only have Bavarian roots?
Thanks too for your appreciation.
Propellerkuh 12:44, 20 December 2007 (PST)
All the aformentionned propositions look ok to me, except I cannot do the (Alt-.) as I do not own an Apple keyboard. Whatever I have the (very bad?) habit to use as many ASCII characters as possible in markup and programming languages in order to simplify the code reading and to avoid compatibility issues. So I will probably use the "…" code which is very useful for the people who cannot type such a character on their keyboard …
Maroual 17:15, 20 December 2007 (PST)
One more question though: If someone interrupts someone else in the middle of a sentence, but not in the middle of a word, what should I use then?
- "Have you ever ..." - "What?"
- "Have you ever --" - "What?"
- "Have you ever--" - "What?"
- Something entirely different
--Fishbrain 05:02, 21 December 2007 (PST)
Hi, I for one prefer the "Have you ever ..." - "What?" version. Though with an en-dash: "Have you ever ..." – "What?" because the short hyphen is for hyphenation or assemblings (like "Frank Zappa-Strasse"*) only. I looked up the Wörterbuch again and didn't find a rule for how to transscribe interruptions. But again, whatever kind one uses, in my eye it should have a blank after a completed word. In your examples there could be two different words to be interrupted. In your third example it could go "... Have you everything ..." See? Though with interruptions you would never know ... – (or know...? no, know ... ---- just kidding)
- The naming of the actual Berliner "Frank-Zappa-Strasse" is wrong, because FZ name wasn't "Frank-Zappa" but "Frank Zappa"
BTW: Happy Christmas Holidays etcetera
Propellerkuh 05:23, 22 December 2007 (PST)