[LMB] dots before my eyes

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 29 01:57:16 BST 2015


Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) is so fucking obscure at points. But, I 
think they advocate for three spaced periods followed by puntuation (period, 
comma, exclamation point, etc.). I think what I'm seeing in 13.39's last example 
is "But . . . but . . . ," said Tom. They call these dots to indicate "faltering 
or fragmented speech" suspension points. They recommend looking at 13.48 to 
13.56. (That's where I started, but I got confused by "deliberately incomplete sentence." Most of that stuff is about omission, not petering out into silent 
thought . . . .)
 
As you can see, I prefer three spaced periods followed by a normal period. (-:
 
(Leaving the below unsnipped for reference.)


----- Original Message -----
From: Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com>
To: "lois- >> Bujold chat list" <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Cc: 
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 2:05 AM
Subject: [LMB] dots before my eyes

Well, here's a thing.

In the files I've completed so far (including the 3 that have gone up), 
I converted all my 4-dot ellipses, aka ellipses followed by a period, to 
3-dot ellipses, no period.  Exceptions when there is trailing 
punctuation, a question mark or exclamation point, that offered extra 
information.

At least one test reader is now taking these to be, when followed by a 
new sentence set off by its capital, as an error in capitalization, 
assuming I mean them to run on into the next as one sentence.  I suspect 
this is not an issue when the ellipsis appears at the end of a 
paragraph, as the break there is signaled by other means.  But in 
mid-paragraph the only signal that we've switched to a new sentence is 
the capital, now that I have converted to single spaces between 
sentences for publication (I always have 2 spaces in my first drafts.)  
But, of course, some of them _are_ continuations of the same sentence, 
no caps.  Hence the confusion.

Should I tediously restore all those fracking pointless periods, to 
avert the OCD grammarians of the future who will be jumping on this (and 
me), or not?  Half the function of this whole exercise is to 
bullet-proof my prose against that sort of fiddly crit, once and for 
all.  So it should.

sigh, L.


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