We had a lively discussion in my Issues in Children’s Literature class at Queens College about the use of ellipses. It seems that young writers are being taught to use ellipses to indicate increasing tension, a use that was new to me. Several of the teachers in the class, reported that students fill their writing with ellipses; but, why not–it’s easier than creating the effect through actual writing! Today I checked out Grammar Girl: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ellipsis.aspx
She cites The Chicago Manual of Style. I double-checked my copy, the 15th edition:
11.45 Faltering or interrupted speech. Ellipsis points may be used to suggest faltering or fragmented speech accompanied by confusion or insecurity. In the examples below, note the relative positions of the ellipsis points and other punctuation. (For ellipsis points used to represent omitted text, see 11.51-65.)
“I. . . I . . . that is, we . . . yes, we have made an awful blunder!”
“The ship . . . oh my God! . . .it’s sinking!” cried Henrietta.
“But . . . but . . .,” said Tom.
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