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So is there a four dot ellipsis or not?[edit]

Section 2.1 (Ellipsis in English) contains the following statement:

An ellipsis at the end of a sentence with no sentence following should be followed by a period (for a total of four dots). However, there is such a thing as a four-dot ellipsis. A four-dot ellipsis is required for the removal of more than one word.

So is there a four dot ellipsis or not? -- ayteebee 16:18, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

No, there is not a four dot ellipsis. There would be three dots for the ellipsis and a period. I might suggest there could be a space between the last elliptical dot and the period. 11:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, according to several style guides (I use Chicago), there is a 4 dot ellipses. "The omission of one or more paragraphs within a quotation is indicated by four ellipsis points at the end of the paragraph preceding the omitted part." From the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., section 13.54. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Both anon commenters are correct in their own way. A four-dot ellipsis sometimes is a three-dot one and period. Typical uses are:
  • Unspaced: At end of a truncated sentence before beginning of more quoted material (this is basically a three-dot ellipsis and a period fused):
    • Original text: "Vulcans have green blood, and also highly concentrated urine and feces, like cats. They come from a planet also named Vulcan."
    • Quote style: "Vulcans have green blood.... They come from a planet also named Vulcan."
    • A "high-academic" alternative is "Vulcans have green blood [...]. They come from a planet also named Vulcan." This style is used when the style guide in question does not permit any editorial insertions, including "...", without them being square-bracketed.
  • Spaced: Used to indicate omission that crosses a paragraph boundary (this is a true four-dot ellipsis):
    • Original text: "Vulcans have green blood, and also highly concentrated urine and feces, like cats. They come from a planet also named Vulcan. [paragraph break here] Andorians have blue blood, and come from the moon Andoria. [paragraph break here] Romulans, a split-off of the Vulcans, are green-blooded like their ancestors, and hail from planet Romulus."
    • Quote style: "Vulcans ... come from a planet also named Vulcan. .... Romulans, a split-off of the Vulcans ... hail from planet Romulus." This isn't terribly common. I'm not sure anyone recommends it but Chicago.
    • More common: "Vulcans ... come from a planet also named Vulcan. ... Romulans, a split-off of the Vulcans ... hail from planet Romulus."
    • Some academic styles may require "[...]" or "[....]".
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:25, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Who decides what's common and uncommon?[edit]

Disregard: Off-topic.

The reference mark ( ※ ) as exceedingly common in Japanese documents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:15, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

The reference mark is covered at its own article.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:28, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

APA usage[edit]

Can someone add some info in the English usage section about what APA style calls for? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:57, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

There are hundreds of citation styles, and dozens of more-or-less major ones. They are not general style guides for writing English, and most of them do not even cover ellipses and other general punctuation matters.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:29, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Grammatical versus typographical ellipsis[edit]

This article discusses mainly the "three dots" ellipsis but it leaves what an ellipsis actually is to the end. Wouldn't it be better to bring the discussion of the grammatical aspect of an ellipsis to the head of the article, followed by how an ellipsis is represented and when it needs to be represented? Alternatively, how about two articles? :-)

  • Elliptical construction and Ellipsis (figure of speech) could be merged together. However, they don't really have any place in this article (I am referring to merge tags present in this revision). This article appears to be mostly about the punctuation and the modern usage thereof, whereas the other two articles are about the grammatical constructions. -- 02:29, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

How many dots?[edit]

For example, in the sentence "The man that I saw in the park was tall", the word "that" which introduces the relative phrase can be elided, leaving "The man I saw...", which has the same meaning.

I have removed this from the article. The word "that" in this context is not "a word required by strict grammatical rules", so the given definition of an ellipsis doesn't apply to it. And besides, it doesn't sound like rhetoric or poetry! Can anyone come up with a better example? I know nothing of these arty matters. ;) -- Oliver P. 01:34 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

I've stuck in the Pepys example, which is the best example I know of. Any chance of somebody providing a "translation" of the Burns example? I'm afraid I don't understand it (which probably makes me a terrible person or something). --Camembert
A very good example, Mr. Camembert! I haven't a clue about the meaning of the Burns quote, but I've found a source in which it is written slightly differently. So I'm going to edit it a bit, and maybe format the lines in a more poemy way, and hope you don't notice that I'm also rearranging your sentences to remove the ghastly possessives-without-apostrophe-ses... ;) -- Oliver P. 02:37 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

"Ghastly"?! I'll have you know, sir, that my family has used that formation for three hundred years, and... oh alright, I'll let you off ;) --Camembert

On a slightly different subject, I always thought one used four dots if it trails at the end of a sentence. See: Sam.

Hmm. Never seen that before... The Chicago Manual of Style, eh? Is this just what the University of Chicago does? -- Oliver P. 02:37 May 7, 2003 (UTC)
That's what I learned, too. Three dots within a sentence, four dots to end the sentence, three dots after a period and space along with lack of capitalization for the beginning of a sentence. Not sure how widespread it is. - Gwalla 04:02, May 28, 2004 (UTC)

Grammatical ellipsis[edit]

Is the "In grammar of languages" part any different from the "figure of speech" part? If not, can it be removed? -- Oliver P. 03:21 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

Actually I wasn't sure mention in figure of speech part. I just remembered I learned ellipsis in my grammar class so I added a mention about it from my memory. I am glad if you or anyone can integrate them into one. -- Taku 03:48 May 7, 2003 (UTC)
I might leave it to someone more expert on these matters. :) -- Oliver P. 03:57 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

Moved this

In grammar of languages, ellipsis is some way to explain some kind of omission. e.g.

"Wikipedia is a great encyclopedia ever created"

can be seen as a short way to say

"Wikipedia is a great encyclopedia that is ever created"

But this can be explained without ellipsis. "Created" can be regarded as past participle, so it modifies a noun encylopedia just like adjective does.

to here. It seems to me the first example is just an incomplete sentence rather than really being an ellipsis, and the rest of it is just a debate. I also moved this here

Some style guide says in quotes you need to surround ellipses with brackets to show it was modified from the original.

, because I think it confuses ellipsis points (used to indicate omissions) with interpolated material (which is inserted between brackets). Not to say that SOME style manual doesn't suggest it, but it would be good to know which one. And, for what it's worth, the Chicago Manual of Style says use dots/ellipsis points/suspension points, never asterisks/stars. -- Someone else 04:53 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

I was wondering about the asterisks, thinking that perhaps some other languages use those? But I've certainly never seen it in any form of English. -- John Owens 05:03 May 7, 2003 (UTC)
Someone must do it or we wouldn't be warned against it<G>. Like you, I wonder who it is! -- Someone else 05:19 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

For those who are unfamiliar with 18th century Scots dialect, maybe this will help - Burns is saying "Is there (a)n honest(man among us) who hangs his head because of his Poverty". The poet uses ellipsis to personalise and highlight "honest Poverty". A good example.

Now, for those who are unfamiliar with 21st century English - can I suggest that the encyclopedia example should be:

"Wikipedia is the greatest encyclopedia ever created" can be seen as a short way to say
"Wikipedia is the greatest encyclopedia that has ever "been" created"

Tiles 07:40 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

Again, though, "Wikipedia is the greatest encyclopedia ever created" is a perfectly complete sentence on its own. "Created" is a past participle modified by the adverb "ever" and modifying in turn the noun "encyclopedia". "Encyclopedias ever created" specified a set of encyclopedias, and the sentence says that Wikipedia is the greatest of these. I've removed the example from the article:
“Wikipedia is the greatest encyclopedia ever created”
which can be interpreted as a short way to say: “Wikipedia is the greatest encyclopedia that has ever been created”

If someone wants to mangle this into a better example, go for it, but there are already a few there.

BTW, I believe the asterisks are generally used between paragraphs in block-quotes. They can also be used to denote section breaks, often in fiction (eg, Through the Looking Glass), though this may not be an actual "ellipsis". --Spikey 23:24, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the thee spaced stars as a section break is an elipsis. It is almost exclusively used to indicate time has passed, and the author omitted the events that occured in that time period. IT basicly indicates the ommision of events, like the elipsis indicates the ommision of words. 00:28, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Ellipses in quotations[edit]

" ellipsis is used enclosed in brackets ([ ]) or, more often, slashes (//) if one wishes to omit a part of an original quotation."

Is there any basis for the "more often" claim here? In my experience omissions/deletions are marked with a bare ellipsis or, more often, with an ellipsis enclosed in brackets in publications. I have seen the occasional use of slashes in informal text like email or some manuscripts, but in those cases it seems to have been for authoring convenience, not as a typographical habit (like the use of slashes to denote italics). Also the entry on brackets includes its usage in quotes, something the entry on slashes does not.

I'm not sure where the author got this statement about enclosing an ellipsis in brackets. I always understood that a simple ellipsis, without brackets, is used to indicate an omission. That is what the Chicago Manual of Style (which is the style manual referenced in the same paragraph) recommends. In fact, Chicago does not even mention brackets in that context. (I looked this up in both the 1993 14th edition and the 1969 12th edition—14th: 10.47–10.63; 12th: 10.31–10.40) Brackets are used when replacing original text with one's own words. Perhaps the brackets/slashes usage is British practice? Mateo SA | talk 04:21, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)

Brackets are required by some academic citation styles in which no editorial insertions can be made without square brackets. As for slashes, that's just internet nonsense. There might be some kind of markup situation in which backslash escaping would be required (because "." by itself meant something in the language of the parser at hand), but that's nothing to do with everyday writing, nor with the ellipsis itself.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:38, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Splitting this article[edit]

I would suggest splitting this article into ellipsis (punctuation) and ellipsis (rhetoric) with ellipsis being a disambiguation pages. This article is already big enough that one has to scroll few screens of text to find out that it is also about the rhetorical figure of speech. Also, maybe more importantly, it causes problems with interwiki links. For example in Polish ellipsis as punctuation is wielokropek but ellipsis as the rhetorical figure is elipsa which also means ellipse, the flattened circle. Rafał Pocztarski 05:05, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ellipsis (punctuation) in other languages[edit]

This article will probably need sections for differences in other languages like those in the quotation mark article. The differences are mostly in spaces and brackets. I will split this article into sections and write about Polish rules. Rafał Pocztarski 05:12, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't think that ellipsis in other languages ought to be on this page at all. That discussion should be made elsewhere. Brian Miller98.67.160.222 (talk) 13:55, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Except not. Our norm in articles like this is to cover all languages. If we have enough material for a stand-alone article on English usage in detail, we split that off to a separate article, e.g. Quotation marks in English.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:45, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

The Ellipsis as a Character in Fonts[edit]

I've done a fair bit of digging and have been unable to find answers to these questions:

1. Most computer fonts these days seem to include the ellipsis as a single character that displays as three dots. The dots are often smaller and more crowded than the dots that would be displayed if one typed 3 periods. Is the ellipsis - a single character within a computer font - included in computer fonts as a work-around that prevents an ellipsis from being mangled by a line break?

2. Was the ellipsis a "cast-in-metal" character during the Linotype days, or did the Linotype operator make each one up as needed, and according to the applicable style book? Some style books call for the ellipsis to be spaced more widely than single en spaces, much different than the spacing of the character found in typical computer fonts, which are sometimes narrower than el spaces.

3. How does one reconcile the three-dot and four-dot ellipses with the fact that (at least among the fonts I looked at) computer fonts only supply a three-dot ellipsis character? Setting a three-dot-ellipsis character - preceded or followed by a standard period - looks downright ugly.

It might be worth mentioning the use of ellipses in writing for broadcast news. I once read news on the radio, back in the Teletype days, from copy provided by a special broadcast news service. It was not uncommon for ellipses to be used as the end-punctuation for every sentence, except the last one, in a paragraph. Since spoken-word English is basically punctuated by inflection and pauses, the ellipses - used in this way - made the reading of news copy much easier than standard punctuation might.

I think it would be useful (or at least interesting) information for the article. Thanks for any wisdom or history anyone can provide.

Too difficult to answer?--Hhielscher 17:25, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Space after ellipsis at beginning of phrase[edit]

This article has no examples about the use of space after the ellipsis when the ellipsis is used to indicate an omission or continuation at the beginning of the sentence. Is there a space between the ellipsis and the first word, or not?

For example, in a TV caption (subtitles), which of these is correct:

- So, we were going...

- Really?

- ... home with our dogs, when it happened.


- So, we were going...

- Really?

- ...home with our dogs, when it happened.

Neither. It should be:
- So, we were going ...
- Really?
- ... home with our dogs, when it happened.
because "going" isn't a truncated/interrupted word, but a complete one. If it were interrupted in mid-word, it would be:
- So, we were go...
- Really?
- home with our dogs, when it happened.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:48, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Rules for positioning of spaces either side of the ellipses[edit]

While the article discusses the relevance of spaces in relation to the ellipses being replacement for either a word or letters, there is almost no mention of the use of a space to imply continued action or making an implication. Rather than the ellipses replacing letters or words, they are often used for implying a continuation or making an implication. The space for missing words and no space for missing letters makes sense because words are separated by spaces. However, in the implied situation this logic does not apply. My experience is that implied action or implications do not use a space between the last word and the ellipses, but someone with better knowledge should state the correct fashion in each of the cases.

For example, in neither of the cases below are letters or words missing:

- I don't know what to say... Here there are no missing letters or words, but the reader knows the author would like to add something if they could find the words, or if the situation allowed. Often the author knows what they want to say, but does not want to state it clearly for risk of offense etc, so ellipses imply that there is something further.

- It is starting... Here there is not one specific set of words missing, but an implication that there is something continuing. Perhaps what follows is positive or negative, reassuring or threatening and maybe the reader can guess from the context, but in some cases the implication that something continues is the only information imparted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

In Star Wars[edit]

The opening "a long time ago" line in the Star Wars movies (mistakenly?) uses a four-dot ellipsis instead of the three-dot variety. The later movies continued to use the four-dot version as an homage to -- and to remain consistent with the earlier movies. -- 10:59, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Despite the fact that "..." is more appropriate than "....", doesn't "...." seem more filling than "..."?
...That made no sense, did it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
No, the four-dot version is correct, because it's a stand-alone construction (albeit one evocatively left trailing off, a form of poetic license). The material that follows it is not a continuation of the same sentence. They could have used other typography, such as no punctuation (treating the opening line as a heading/header), or a colon, treating it as an introduction of a more formal and less poetic sort than what they chose. However, not all style guides even admit the existence of a four-dot ellipsis, so a three-dot one would not have been "wrong", just divergent from some style guides.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:52, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

Ellipsis in Japanese[edit]

Do we have a source confirming that "…" to indicate speechlessness is really from Japanese? Seems to me that that was a comix convention long before manga started getting any sort of widespread play in the West. Can someone dig up old "Blondie" strips or something?

Wiki Wikardo

the earliest i can remember seeing this used is in old nintendo games. though since they were mostly made in japan anyway (and then hilariously translated), this doesn't tell much. it made it to the US before the manga craze, though. PS i love your username! --dan 07:04, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Though I can't answer your question, it would seem that this is not really about neutrality (which deals with points of views in a debate about something) but rather a factual error. Don't you have a template for indicating factual errors as opposed to disputes about neutrality? Cornince 21:33, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Use {{cn}}. –EdC 21:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Not really about Japanese, but what about a line in the article about the chatspeak use of the ellipsis? Something like, The ellipsis is often used when chatting online to indicate that the writer doesn't know what to say, etc. etc. Even though it's not really a valid use according to proper English, it is a very common use of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

So why do you put your comment here then? See further the last sentence of the first paragraph of the article.  --Lambiam 08:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


I've added a Cite Needed flag to the claim that the ellipsis is also known as an ellipse. I have never seen this before in my life, and if no citation is forthcoming I'm inclined to remove the interjection entirely. --Llewdor 23:50, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Recently, I've been referring to a singular ellipsis as an ellipse; however, I seem to recall primarily calling it an ellipsis before. I think at some point, someone falsely corrected me (or maybe I just got confused in a math class) that an ellipse is the proper name for an ellipsis. I have definitely heard others use ellipse instead of ellipsis, but perhaps this is a result of miscommunication and misunderstandings. After having read this article, I now believe some may improperly or informally refer to ellipsis as ellipse. In defense of using ellipse, I didn't spend time searching for a source that supports the idea that ellipse is a proper substitute for ellipsis, but a source may exist. FalseLobster 04:57, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
An ellipse is a [mathematical] shape. I am going to stick my neck out and say that it is never an alternative term for an ellipsis. I will gladly retract this should I have reliable cause to do so...Mpassman 18:22, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
The use of the word "ellipse" in place of the word "ellipsis" is actually quite silly. Dale A. Wood, M.A. in mathematics, the University of Alabama at Huntsville. (talk) 14:04, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Disambiguation page for this?[edit]

Anyone else agree? 13:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Please add new discussion at the bottom of the talk page. I've moved it for you.
No, I don't see any advantage over the current situation. –EdC 21:26, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Maths bit wrong[edit]

It needs a sigma to mean sum, at the moment it just lists numbers... Mpassman 20:39, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Never fear, I managed to work out Wikipedia's maths stuff, so have added a sigma. I think this is correct ie. does not need limits, due to the way it is written.Mpassman 16:53, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

IMO, the sigma shouldn't be there. The fact you are using plus signs implies a sum. If you were going to use a sigma, you'd use \sigma_{i=1}{100} i (LaTeX notation) Rawling4851 23:20, 25 May 2007 (UTC)


Prolific use of arbitrary ellipses should be substituted with "ksl" in order to avoid confusion with actual, grammatically correct instances of ellipses within the document in question.

What is ksl and why? Google yields nothing relevant. Wolfmankurd 20:52, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


why is "^ Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Miyazaki Hayao" a reference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:13, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I assume because "...inanimate objects "speaking" the ellipsis" occurred in the film." Can anyone confirm this? (A quick glance through the script [1] revealed nothing to me, maybe I'll have time to watch the movie later and if I notice get a screen-cap) --Stradenko (talk) 15:11, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm, Nausicaä was also a manga. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 21:27, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

The Daily Mirror[edit]

As is shown by this front page from 2004, the British tabloid Daily Mirror uses two, not three, dots. This is not a typo: it's standard house style at the paper, and has been for decades. I have no idea why. (talk) 00:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Bad link to your's the same, or another one "" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:27, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
The British are frequently very careless about such things, as well as in such sentences as "The crew are...", "The government are...", and "The team are...."
I reply "Pie are round and cornbread are square!"
Well-educated American English is often clearer and more precise. (talk) 14:10, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

In Cinema?[edit]

Something leads me to feel as though the "Cinema" section should not be in this article, which is clearly about typography . . . . Perhaps it should be moved to the article on ellipsis (narrative device). Nkovrig (talk) 05:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

☑Y I've removed this out-of-place section and added a line to Ellipsis (narrative device).  --Lambiam 15:19, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Trailing Thought[edit]

Hmmm, I wonder if I have missed the description here of the ellipsis as a punctuation mark indicating a trailing thought... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

From the lead paragraph: "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)."  --Lambiam 07:07, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry I missed that in the intro -- it's in "Typographical Rules" that there's no discussion of formatting for it.
Formatting should be (as far as I've ever seen in a professionally published work): no space before, letter space afterwards, obviously no brackets, optionally the ellipsis character or three periods/full stops per editorial design style. Like: "Hmm... I thought to myself". But I can't find a reference for this on the Web. It is clarified in any of the printed style guides (US/UK)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:40, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Irrationals vs. Transcendentals[edit]

Normally these dots should only be used where the pattern to be followed is clear, the exception being to show the continuation of a transcendental number such as:
I'm changing transcendental number to irrational number. Only rational numbers show set pattern in their decimal expansions. The irrationals include the transcendentals. —Tamfang (talk) 02:29, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
In other words, the trancendental numbers are a subset of the irrational numbers -- to be precise. Also, "Rational numbers show set pattern in their decimal expansions," is correct English. In such sentences, you can choose between a). Everything plural, or b). Everything singular. Mixing up singular forms with plural forms leads to a lot of confusion, and it looks quare, too. (talk) 14:20, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Horizontal position of ellipsis in Chinese[edit]

The Chinese version of this page implies that ellipsis in Chinese should always occupy the same horizontal space as two characters, thus rendering dots on the baseline is considered wrong. Zat'n'ktel (talk) 05:20, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


This book seems to recommend this character (U+0085) instead of the usual U+2026. What the heck is that thing? —Telofy (talk) 10:07, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Try to find and fix it in the original (unfinished) book. Don't use third-party websites at all. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:59, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Polish and Italian[edit]

The Polish rules apply fully also to Italian... except the "The punctuation rules for ellipses are standardized by the PN-83/P-55366 standard from 1983, Rules for setting texts in the Polish Language (Zasady składania tekstów w języku polskim)". Actually, I don't know what official source I could cite to prove the Italian use of "..." -- (talk) 02:23, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

These words are ALWAYS capitalized in English: Danish, Dutch, English, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swiss, Turkish, Uruguayan, Venezuelan, Welsh, Yemeni, and many more. It matters not whether the word is an adjective, the name of a nationality, or the name of a language. I see mistakes all the time concerning these words, especially by Eastern Europeans, and I cannot figure out why: Just capitalize all of them all the time in English, with no exceptions, regardless of how you do it in your native tongue.
I am aware that in German and in languages east of that, adjectives are NEVER capitalized. However, when you are going to write English, you MUST use the rules of English. (talk) 14:36, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Unicode equivalence[edit]

"Unicode recognizes [citation needed] a series of three period characters (U+002E) as equivalent to the horizontal ellipsis character." Surely not -- I am not aware of any Unicode implementation which would do this. And for the reason. This will break many application, where the user really wants three-period characters (for example programming languages). span style="font-size: smaller;" class="autosigned">—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Surely yes, but compatibility equivalent only, so it may not "break many applications". There is a standard. It does not matter -- do such implementations exist or they do not. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:59, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Ellipses at the beginning of direct quotations[edit]

Lately my students have been placing ellipses at the beginning of direct quotations, when the passage begins in mid-sentence of the cited material. example: Rick tells Ilsa their problems don't amount to "...a hill of beans." When did this become fashionable? What authority prescribes this format? I was raised to write: Rick tells Ilsa their problems don't amount to "a hill of beans." (talk) 19:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC)RKH

I agree with you: treating quotations like that is completely silly. Unfortunately, we do see more and more of this sort of garbage -- especially since the beginning of the widespread use of the Internet. Too many people just make things up as they go along (including spelling) rather than abiding to any rules or to any pattern of usage that goes back for centuries. They simply do not give a hoot.
I have also told my college students that they SHALL use a good spell-checker on any report or other assignment that they must turn in, and that I am in charge of the class and if they do not want to follow my rules, that is the way to go courting real troubles! (talk) 14:47, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

past tense?[edit]

Ellipsized; ellipsised, what is it? mystery (talk) 03:12, August 10th, 2011 (UTC)

Ellipsis is a noun, not a verb. Perhaps you're looking for the adjectival form: elliptical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Spaces between periods[edit]

I know I never put spaces between the dots, but I understand it is a convention sometimes. This page seems to have an identity crisis when it comes to this though, with both styles strewn about all over the page. The infobox display on the right side has the variants listed, so one style should probably be adopted and people should stop changing them back and forth. Someone added spaces in the big ellipsis in the infobox and it created some visual snafu where the middle dot was lower on my screen (Firefox 11.0, 1024x768 res) so I edited out the spaces. Jargon777 Talk 15:08, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

You could see the initial state of four presentation and a subsequent edit of SpaceCow4 which blurred that arrangement. I purposely used non-breaking spaces in the main presentation. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 19:52, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Spaces between the dots is absolutely wrong (and yes, I know the MoS wants spaces between the dots. The MoS is wrong). Remember, an ellipsis is a single ligature. It is convention, when the single typographical ligature is unavailable, to substitute three dots, but they should no more be separated with spaces, as if an ellipsis is simply a string of three separate characters than the emdash substitute double-dash should. Among other problems is the potential for a line to wrap in the middle of an ellipsis, and the visual confusion the extra white space causes. Most glaringly, it makes it impossible to visually distinguish between a period-ellipsis and an ellipsis-period, which in AP style would be ". ..." and "... .", respectively, but in MoS style would be ". . . ." in both cases. (talk) 07:59, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Leading and trailing spaces[edit]

Ellipses without inner spaces (before and after the second peroid) can come with or without a leading space and with and without a trailing space as well.

So an ellipsis connected to a letter (or word) without a space symbolizes one ore more omitted letters. "blue..." opens the meanings of "blueberry" and "blueprint", while "blue ..." (with a space) shows that at least a word is omitted and complets to "blue sky" or "blue water".

(At least in German.)

To build compact grafic text logos, sometimes this space is omitted, although this rule would request a space. For instance: Wetten,_dass..? --Helium4 (talk) 17:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

The huge symbol in the table[edit]

The primary ellipsis symbol in the table (on the right side of the article) is composed of three periods, and editors are discouraged from changing it to a single Unicode glyph. It is terribly wrong. The ellipsis is a typographical symbol—three periods put together to form a single, individable glyph—a ligature. Ellipsis is a single character, get it straight. Using three periods instead of a special ligature is just a surrogate means of imitating a real ellipsis, it is not an ellipsis itself. So, naturally, ellipsis in the table header must be represented by the most appropriate and technically correct means—the Unicode ligature. The improper version of tree periods may be left below as a possible alternative, but it MUST NOT be used as primary, it is simply misleading (people should not get the wrong idea thinking that the three periods in the table header is how one should type ellipsis; the Unicode ligature—that's how.) I will fix it. (talk) 14:09, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Lots of people might come here as a way to copy-and-paste the unicode ellipsis character, and this will save them time. It looks fine with the Unicode character; can't imagine why someone wrote, "please do not change it". Klortho (talk) 14:16, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Agree as well. The ellipsis has a special character in the Unicode, and Wikipedia is Unicode-enabled, so we should stick to it. Most platforms should display the Unicode ellipsis correctly as well, so there is no reason not to use it. --hydrox (talk) 16:43, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Or, alternatively, use the HTML code & hellip ; (…). Surely all browsers support that.
I want to point out that space-separated dots is the Chicago Manual of Style's recommendation. However, on this point I disagree with the MoS rather vociferously. As others have pointed out, the ellipsis is a distinct typographical entity with a grammatical function utterly unrelated to the period. Grammatically, using a series of periods to represent an ellipsis makes about as much sense as substituting three space-separated semicolons for a single colon, simply based on the visual similarity. Three dots is a poor man's substitute simply for when the ellipsis ligature is unavailable, just as the double-dash is for the emdash. Yet not even the MoS recommends a space between those dashes.
In addition, the extra white space creates visual confusion. Not only is it harder to visually identify dot-space-dot-space-dot as an ellipsis, it makes a period-ellipsis visually indistinguishable from an ellipsis-period. Contrast this with the AP style: ". ..." and "... .", respectively. And the MoS's recommendation to use non-breaking spaces to avoid line-wrap is simply a hack for a problem that is better avoided simply by not using spaces in the first place.
So can someone please explain why, since Wikipedia supports Unicode, editors discourage using the proper glyph? I notice as I glance down the right side of the article a long list of punctuation symbols, most of which are unicode. Why is unicode OK in the pull-box on the right, but not in the main body of the article?

CNJECulver (talk) 09:09, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

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"Save As..." style[edit]

A drop-down menu including "Save As..." with no space between "As" and the ellipsis.

This is an outgrowth of of a discussion on my user talk page, one which I think is of more general interest, touching on when deviations from MOS are warranted.

 — Peter Brown

SMcCandlish and I have been debating the use of a space immediately prior to an ellipsis in the discussion of computer menus, specifically menu items that read "Save As...". (e.g. WinZip, LibreOffice, Wolfram, Adobe Acrobat, and Microsoft Office up to Version 16). Variants include "Save Page As..." (Mozilla Firefox) and, with a lower-case 'a', "Save page as..."(Google Chrome). MOS:ELLIPSIS is clear that there should be a space before an ellipsis, but I think that SMcCandlish and I agree that MOS need not be followed if there is consistency among the primary sources, namely the OSes and apps that actually implement menus like this. I believe that there is such consistency: while SMcCandlish has provided 23 examples — and I certainly appreciate his/her efforts — whenever "As" (or "as") is followed by an ellipsis in a menu, there seems never to be a space between the preposition and the ellipsis.

Beyond this, note that "Save as ...", with the space, appears in quotation marks in the article. I regard this as a misquotation of the menu item that appears in Office, WinZip, etc. and lacks the space. (It would be interesting to know the original source.) Surely, exact quotations may be included in Wikipedia articles without regard to MOS. SMcCandlish has responded, "'I want some pizza' is an example of something various people say, every day, but it's not a quotation, it's an example of something one might hear." Well, when a student is asked to translate "I want some pizza" into French, it's not a quotation, but it is a quotation if the speaker is identified and is actually expressing a desire for pizza. I think that "Save As...", as it should be used in the Ellipsis article, is of the latter sort. Probably a reference should be provided, e.g. [2].

— Peter Brown (talk) 22:51, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

If we're going to rehash this here, I'm going to re-present the same evidence against this "ignore the MoS because I want to mimic my preferred OS" argument as I already provided you at User talk:Peter M. Brown#"Save_As..." style.

Some menus do look like that. Others do not. It took me under 1 minute on Google Images to prove it:

  • Spaced ellipsis: [3], from [4]
  • Lower-case two-letter prepositions (including "as"): [5] from [6] again; [7] from [8]; [9] from [10]; [11] from [12]; [13] from [14]; Sometimes it's not even consistent in the same menu (e.g. "Save As", "Save in", and "Save as" all at once [15]).
When RS usage is not consistent, WP does not capitalize. First rule of MOS:CAPS. I agree it's not worth fighting about; the thing to do is apply our style unless real-world RS overrule it with near uniformity (e.g. the trademark is iPod not "Ipod"). [...]

[Peter himself then provided an example of Google Chrome using a lower-case as ("Save page as..."). He also wrote 'What's different about "Save As..." is that 'As' is a preposition demanding an object.' I'm not sure what that's supposed to imply. There is no principle in English that a subject or verb with an object should be capitalized, or that it should be fused to a following ellipsis. I continued:]

The point is, it's not consistent in the RS (i.e., the primary sources, namely the OSes and apps that actually implement menus like this), so default to MoS's instructions. I already provided you examples of short prepositions in these menus not being capitalized. Here's an example of a lower-case trailing preposition that "demands an object" (which has nothing to do with capitalization at all): [16], from [17] (and further illustrative of inconsistency; the same menu veers quickly into overcapitalization, even after a hyphen in "Read-Only", which pretty much no style guide on earth would agree with.) Here's two examples of lower-case trailing preposition in one image: [18] from [19]. Note also that it uses instead of – an increasingly common style (especially for fly-out rather than pop-up menus), and is most often done flush-right, not fused to the text. That style is also sometimes applied to ellipses in such menus (i.e., the idea that the ellipsis must be fused to the last word is just counterfactual): [20] from [21]. Here's a similar case, using > or a similar glyph for the same purpose (and with lower-case two-letter trailing prepositions): [22] from [23].

I'm not sure why you're asserting that an example we're providing, of the kind of text that might appear in a menu, is "a quotation". "I want some pizza" is an example of something various people say, every day, but it's not a quotation, it's an example of something one might hear. Anyway, different development projects (commercial and non-commercial) have their own internal stylesheets and interface guidelines (or none at all, and leave it to random developer whim). Some end up capitalizing every single word in menus, others follow more normal English orthography, and some are mixed. WP isn't AppleAndMicrosoftPedia, and we're not bound to mimic what their UI habits are. Here's an example of "Save as..." lower-case but without the space: [24], from [25] (and then it veers into capitalizing "To" in the middle of a menu item, which isn't something any writer would normally do in any circumstance, not even signage or album titles).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:06, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

  • There's something ironic about a discussion about spaced ellipses opening with This is an outgrowth of of a discussion. EEng 05:56, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
    I judged that certain matters that came up in the discussion were appropriate to this page, and I accordingly posted here. How is that "ironic"?  —  Peter Brown (talk) 02:41, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
    How to space an ellipsis is the sort of thing typically debated at the most rarefied levels of typographic disputation. It's therefore amusing to see a word accidentally duplicated in the very first post. EEng 03:07, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
    Typo fixed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:47, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
    I thought maybe it was some arcane construction you picked up reading Roger of Wendover or something. With you nothing surprises anymore. EEng 06:53, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
    Not not this this time time.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  08:08, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

It seems to me that I have addressed SMcCandlish's points.

  1. Spaced ellipsis ...
    I never claimed that a space cannot precede an ellipsis, only that, in menus, there's no space immediately following a preposition like "as" when that word is followed by an ellipsis on the same line with no intervening words.
  2. Lower-case two-letter prepositions (including "as") ...
    Among the many links provided, only [11] and [12] contain "as" and an ellipsis. There's a word in between these, however, so the examples don't bear on my position.
  3. When RS usage is not consistent, WP does not capitalize.
    This is not the appropriate talk page for discussion of capitalization.
  4. It's not consistent in ... the primary sources, namely the OSes and apps that actually implement menus like this ...
    What is "it"? The next two sentences refer to capitalization, which is admittedly not consistent; no argument there. [18], [19], [20] and [21] have no ellipses, so they are also beside the point. [22] and [23] have ellipses, but the ellipses follow nouns and verbs and so have no relevance to ellipses immediately following prepositions like "as".
  5. In the final paragraph, SMcCandlish claims that "I want some pizza" is not a quotation. Whether a string of words between quotation marks is a quotation or not depends on its context far more than on its content. Consider whether the following expression is a quotation: "Are you paying me back for something?" As I just used it, no. However, the following is a quotation:

    Are you paying me back for something?

    — Joel 3:4
As the lead paragraph of the Wikipedia Quotation article notes, whether "the quoted expression is well-known or explicitly attributed by citation to its original source" is important in determining whether it is a quotation. Reference [2] can be cited for "Save As..." and [24] and [25] for "Save as...", all of which exhibit the usage I am advocating.

SMcCandlish and I agree completely that what's important is whether a usage is "consistent in the ... primary sources, namely the OSes and apps that actually implement menus like this." Perhaps absolute consistency need not be required, but — in   all the menus so far examined — whenever "as" or "As" is followed by an ellipsis with no other word intervening, there is no space between that word and the ellipsis.

A word of caution to contributors. If you preview this section, the numbers shown for the links will be relative to the section, not to the article. If you refer back to them, use the article links, not those shown in the preview. — Peter Brown (talk) 19:45, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

  • In the following, I intersperse a reply, in red, after each of SMcCandlish points, always starting a new line. This seems the best way available for a point-by-point rebuttal. I do expect readers who have difficulty distinguishing colors will be able to tell where SMcCandlish's argument ends and where mine begins. If not, please add a note telling me what color to use or suggesting another way to vary the font. Peter Brown (talk) 19:06, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
You're just recycling your original arguments as if unaddressed, and doing nothing to refute the counter arguments. To cover your numbered points:
Each of my numbered points is addressed directly at a counter argument! How do any of them "do nothing"?
  1. Incorrect; several examples show a space between a trailing preposition (often to) and the ellipsis following it. I even pointed them out. And it's specious reasoning, anyway. The word as isn't "magically special". The examples show that ellipses are not consistently spaced or unspaced in menus, including after prepositions.
    I'm really trying to respond seriously. I have checked and re-checked all your examples. There is a trailing "to" in example [16] but no ellipses. Just give me one example of a computer menu with a trailing preposition — "as" or "to" or whatever — followed immediately by a space and then an ellipsis. Surely, at least, you'll agree that they're rare?
  2. Repeat: several examples already provide contradict your assertions. And do you really think I can't find more examples?
    The field is so wide that, with sufficient effort, I expect that you could find a counterexample. So far, however, you have not done so.
    • Here's another "as", but un-spaced – [26] from [27]
    • Ditto – [28] from [29]
      An unspaced "as" supports my point! I'm claiming that, unless there is another word between the preposition and the ellipsis, there will be no space immediately preceding the latter.
    • Another lower-case "as" – [30] from [31].
      Fine, but there's still no space.
    • Here's one (in a major app, Firefox) veering from "As..." to "as file ..." (lowercase, spaced) in the same menu – [32] from [33]
      I see "As..." twice, which supports my point. There's also "Save link as file ...", with an "as" and a space prior to the ellipsis, but there's a noun, "file", in between. My claim is that when a preposition is followed by an ellipsis in a menu, with no words in between, there is no space immediately preceding the ellipsis.
    • Another with "As" and "as" back-to-back in the same menu – [34] from [35]
      Yes. No spaces. No problem.
    • One with "as" followed by a spaced >[36] from [37]
    • Same but with [38] from [39]
    • Here's another "as", with no ellipsis, arrow, angle-bracket, or other such character at all – [40] from [41]
    • Ditto – [42] from [43]
      The four preceding bullet points are irrelevant as the examples have no ellipses.
    • Moving on to other words than "as", here's more spaced ellipses (lots) – [44] from [45]
      For these to count as counterexamples, you need to argue that PNG, JPEG, EMF, and SVG are prepositions. I await your argument.
    • Spaced ellipses – [46] from [47]
      Yes, but no prepositions.
    • Ditto – [48] from [49]
    • Widely-spaced (flush-right) ellipses – [50] from [51]
      In "Log new output to file ..." there's a noun, "file", between the "to" and the ellipsis.
    • Spaced and unspaced ellipses in the same same menu – [52] from [53]
      Prepositions and ellipses aren't even on the same line.
    • Here's a key example: MATE, one of the most-used Linux desktops, uses ellipses in the same style as MoS, and Chicago Manual of Style, and New Hart's Rules, etc.: fuse it to the pre-ellipsis character string to indicate a truncated word, space it after a complete word – [54] from [55]
      Are you referring to "Change sound volume a..."? The ellipsis is unspaced, so this is no counterexample. However, if a menu item follows the rule "space it after a complete word" and that complete word happens to be a preposition, that would be a counterexample! Perhaps you or some other reader can find a menu item reading, e.g., "Change sound volume after ...", which would show that the usage I'm discussing is not universal, just nearly so.
    • I could do this all day; I only tried a handful of searches and came up with all of this minutes; it took 20× longer to put this into a list. Your implication that a spaced ellipsis is rare is clearly disproven; it's just not typical of MS Windows and MacOS.
      Spaced ellipses are anything but rare, as your examples abundantly illustrate. My claim stands: in menus, a space does not appear just after a preposition and just before an ellipsis.
  3. MoS matters are almost always best discussed at the talk page of the article. They shouldn't be MoS talk page threads unless the interpretation of the MoS material itself in question or there's a proposal to change it. You're arguing not just for "as...", but for "As...", in this particular article; ergo this is the proper venue.
    I am discussing at the talk page of the article. I take it that you approve.
  4. The fact that you can find examples of "As..." is basically irrelevant. That's never been in question. The issue (for about the 5th time now) is that computer menus do not consistently use an unspaced ellipsis (after a preposition or otherwise), nor do they consistently capitalize all words, including two-letter prepositions. And you don't seem to see the obvious flaw in your idea of what a "quotation" is. By your reasoning, I could replace the string in question with one already found in lower-case with a spaced ellipsis, cite the page I found it at, and fight you on the basis that "it's a quotation". We are not providing quotations, we're providing examples of the kinds of strings that might appear with an ellipsis in a menu. We have no reason to do so in a way that veers from the rest of the orthography of the article (and the entire site), when there's unmistakable proof that computer menus are not consistent on either point.
There's abundant evidence that computer menus regularly omit a space right after a preposition when what follows is an ellipsis; computer menus are consistent on this point. Somewhere in the huge field of computer menus, there are probably a handful of exceptions, but I know of none. — Peter Brown (talk) 19:06, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:24, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Editing others' comments, and don't interleave your responses into other people's material. It makes it difficult to tell who's saying what, when. The fact that you point-by-point recycled the same arguments without addressing the counter-arguments doesn't mean you've addressed the counter-arguments, it just equates to tendentiousness. All the blood-red violence you've done to this thread is just a clear indication that you will not see the basics facts in front of your nose: computer menus do not consistently run the ellipsis together with the words; they do not consistently capitalize "As" or any other preposition; and there isn't anything magically special about the word "as".  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:43, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
At the very top, Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines, to which you refer, calls itself "a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply." Common sense, in this case, left little choice but to interleave, making one of the "occasional exceptions". Objecting point-by-point in an independently posted reply would require the reader to page back and forth repeatedly between your putative counterexamples and my explanations as to why they're inapplicable.
As to your comments:
  • You ... recycled the same arguments without addressing the counter-arguments.
Every single one of my statements in red was addressed to a counter-argument, usually to a linked page used as a counter-argument.
  • [Interleaving] makes it difficult to tell who's saying what, when.
Except to color-blind readers, I think that my use of red text makes this fairly easy. I have solicited suggestions from such readers as to how to do my job better.
As to "the basic facts in front of your nose", all of which I agree with:
  • Computer menus do not consistently run the ellipsis together with the words.
Agreed. They do this with prepositions but seldom if ever with, e.g., nouns. My claim is that, in computer menus, trailing prepositions — in contrast to nouns, verbs, whatever — are never followed immediately by a space and then an ellipsis. (They often are followed immediately by an ellipsis.) Probably there are exceptions, but you have not found any.
  • They do not consistently capitalize "As" or any other preposition.
Agreed. On this page, anyhow, I make no claims about capitalization. I have done so elsewhere. I was mistaken. Perhaps I should have acknowledged that earlier, but it seemed inappropriate on a page devoted to ellipses, not to capitalization. It was you who interjected capitalization into this discussion.
  • There is nothing magically special about the word "As".
Agreed. It's a preposition — at least in the contexts under discussion — like any other. I explicitly mention "to" and "after" as prepositions to which my generalization applies.
I have responded to each one of your putative counterexamples, explaining why it did not apply.
In no case have you offered a defense of any of them.
 —  Peter Brown (talk) 17:24, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
Repeat: All the blood-red violence you've done to this thread is just a clear indication that you will not see the basics facts in front of your nose: computer menus do not consistently run the ellipsis together with the words; they do not consistently capitalize "As" or any other preposition; and there isn't anything magically special about the word "As".  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:31, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  • In a minute I'm going turn the hose on you two. PB, you should know better by know than to interleaved like that. I know it seems logical but people really don't like it. EEng 20:29, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't like interleaving, but I really don't see how else I could have proceeded. In the original exchange, I quoted the first few words of each of SMcCandlish's objections in italics and offered my responses in upright font, but there were only five points that I needed to address. With sixteen, using that approach would have imposed on you, as reader, an impossible task. How, in an independent piece following SMcCandlish's presentation, could I have referred back to each bullet point in order to respond to it? Of course, I could have quoted the whole thing, interleaving responses in red (or another color, to avoid the accusation of "blood-red violence"). Would that have made SMcCandlish any happier? Would it have made you any happier, or would it have prompted you to abandon the whole discussion?
I do appreciate your comment. It's nice to know that someone, at least, was paying attention. I welcome any ideas as to how else I could have proceeded and how I should proceed if I encounter the situation in the future. Maybe build a two-column table with the other person's objections in one column and my replies in another? What do you think?
 —  Peter Brown (talk) 23:02, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm going to give you some advice you probably won't like. In general it's a bad idea to argue at length with SM about things like this. He's usually right. EEng 23:14, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
The central issue to me is that we shouldn't go around making odd exceptions, because then everyone's going to want an exception that aligns with their off-site preferences. I've elaborated on this a bit in user talk, and of course there's the WP:SSF essay. On this particular matter, a more specific issue is that if A is inconsistent in RS and B is also inconsistent (where A = "As" capitalization, and B = unspaced ellipses), then they're just not consistent, the end. The coinciding of A + B in the same menu in Windows and MacOS doesn't create a magical, universal exception, especially when there's no linguistic rationale for it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:41, 22 June 2018 (UTC)