From: Guy Steele (Guy.Steele@Sun.COM)
Date: Fri Jan 20 2006 - 11:55:01 CST
On Jan 20, 2006, at 11:04 AM, Michael Everson wrote:
> At 07:56 -0800 2006-01-20, Doug Ewell wrote:
>> Absolutely correct. It was always explained to me that the
>> elision was before the sentence-ending full stop, and that seems
>> usually to be true in my writing. I suppose it could be argued
>> that both constructions exist.
> You can trail off and stop...(.) or you could be finishing a
> sentence and then skipping some other sentences in a passage you
> are citing(.)...
Susie went to the store yesterday. She bought three pickles and
then ran for the bus.
The Chicago Manual is quite clear in stating that when there are four
they consist of a sentence-ending full stop followed by an an ellipsis.
Note in this case that, as usual, no space precedes the full stop:
Susie went to the store yesterday. . . . and then ran for the bus.
One can imagine wanting to precede a full stop with an ellipsis.
In this case one logically ought, as usual, to precede the ellipsis
with a space:
Susie went to the store . . . . She bought three pickles and then
ran for the bus.
The Chicago Manual mandates that in such situations, if the sentence
before the ellipsis is grammatically complete (and, presumably, has
form as a statement, question, or exclamation), then the full stop or
sentence-ending punctuation (such as ! or ?) should be transposed before
the ellipsis. Not entirely logical, I admit, but no worse than the
with whether to put a full stop before or after a closing quotation
As a result, ellipsis followed by full stop never occurs under these
(I could easily be persuaded that there are times when the transposition
should not be performed, just as thee are times when a full stop should
not be moved inside quotation marks.)
If the sentence fragment is grammatically incomplete, then a simple
ellipsis is used, and I note that the presence of a sentence break is
easily inferred from the presence of a capitalized word after the
as well as from grammatical considerations. Finally, if the sentence
is incomplete but doesn't have the same form:
She went to school, so why should I worry? She is a big girl.
She went to school . . . ? She is a big girl.
She went to school? . . . She is a big girl.
then the elider has done a very poor job of elision (see 14th Chicago
on the subject of "Faithful Elision"---sorry, my copy of 15th Chicago is
at home); in short, don't do that! So again there is no need for an
before sentence-ending punctuation.
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