Re: Empty set

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 06:16:36 +0200

2013/9/13 Stephan Stiller <>

> Hi Philippe,
> If you want to use the ellipsis to mark something that has been truncated
> at end or start of a sentence, you normally put them betwen parentheses or
> braces, i.e. "(...)." at end of a truncated sentence or ". (...)" at start
> of the next truncated sentence.
> Well, for citations in German I've generally seen "[...]", and for English
> I've seen both "[...]" and "...", but not "(...)".
> I included it them in my sentence ("parentheses or braces") even if I
simplified the list of examples (it was intended that you could substitute
them). Ideally yes square braces are better, except if there are other
punctuation braces in which the citation is enclosed. In some rare cases
rounded braces may be seen as well i.e. "{...}".

Readers or writers don't like to have similar braces or parentheses pairs
embedded without a visual hint with distinct characters, and this is safe
for texts in natural languages as long as they don't intend to create
technical notations where these punctuations may have distinct meanings. As
long as such distinction is not needed, parentheses are used (and citations
are noramlly short enough that it will be rare for them to include
untruncated parts in parentheses.

But on typical keyboards, parentheses are easier to enter than braces
(especially on French keyboards: a single key stroke on the top row for
parentheses, but you must first press AltGr with another finger for getting
square braces...), so "(...)" is frequently used instead of the "[...]"
normatively recommanded by typographs, just like people will use
minus-hyphens instead of en dashes or em dashes, and won't care about if
they need extra (non-breaking) spacing around puntuations

(Well in French documents, this is really observed normatively and actively
corrected only before colons, semicolons, exclamation and question marks,
and within French guillemets, i.e. double angle quotation marks if people
can type them ; just like people don't like US English double spaces at end
of sentences, inherited from typewriters used on wide scales in the 1960's,
they'll drop these unnecessary spaces, as well as they drop actively the
extra spaces within parentheses or braces).
Received on Thu Sep 12 2013 - 23:18:47 CDT

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