These three little dots confuse the heck out of me. I’m never sure when to follow the ellipsis with a period. If the thought is drifting off (not interrupted), and then switches in the next line, do I end it with a period?
It was as if …
Derek looked to the side. No, it couldn’t be!
Since technically, the sentence ends, do I follow it with a period? I’m never sure.
Stylistically, Butterick says the three manual dots with the space in between is wrong.
I found it an issue because in Garamond—which is the font I chose for the printed version of my book—the character looks ridiculously tiny and compact. In my opinion, it didn’t look good. (Hrm, it might have been my oh-so-handy auto correct making it ugly. The auto correct periods were smaller than regular periods.) So I opted to use periods and non-breaking spaces (CTRL + SHIFT + SPACEBAR).
But am I even supposed to follow it with a period‽
Since I went with the non-breaking space in word, I decided to go the same route in my ebook, meticulously changing out my … with . . . (By meticulously, I mean search and replace.) Of course, then I went through and made sure that any sentences that did end in punctuation (like a question mark), also had a between the last period and the punctuation. It was a pain in the rear, and all the while, I questioned the need for the closing period. In the end, I decided to delete them. I didn’t consult my editor on the decision, so if it’s wrong, I have no one to blame but myself.
Using the … would have been easier.
I am currently reading an ebook that did not use either the … or the method, and I’ve seen a period or two get wrapped to the next line. Since I was reading it on my phone and not my Kindle, I could imagine it looked just fine on the other device.
Some characters may translate over, depending on what software you are using to create the ebook. If you’re going at it on your own, here are a few I found helpful:
EM dash – —
Left single quote – ‘
Right single quote – ’
Left double quote – “
Right double quote – ”
What’s your opinion about the periods and ellipses? Do you have any characters you struggle with?