ELLIPSES’

Good morning! Roads are packed with vehicles and shops are packed with shoppers. Yesterday, I entered a shop on CG Road and the mayhem made me rush out of the shop to get some fresh air.  Come Diwali and everyone goes berserk (unrestrained) — children over crackers and grownups over all that is available in the market.

Anyway, since one can’t escape all the noise and the pollution outside; home seems to be the only heaven.

Recently, Niyati, a reader asked me in her mail, why do I always close my articles with the phrase ‘keep smiling…’?

Well! Apart from making you look attractive and younger, a smile builds an instant rapport with people. And mind you, there are a number of health benefits too- it lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, etc… But more than anything else ‘a smile’ makes ‘YOU’ feel good, which is the most important thing. Replace a scowl (glare) with a smile and see how everything around you brightens up with joy.

The second question, she asked me was the meaning of …, the three dots. Niyati, these three dots are called ‘Ellipses’. The ‘three dots or ellipses’ point towards an omission (exclusion) of letters or words, which may not be necessary.

Where are the ellipses used?

1. In quotations, if you are quoting someone, and want to leave out some words or the rest of the quotation, you may instead use the dot-dot-dot, that is, the ellipses.

Example:

“Subdue your appetites…and you’ve conquered human nature.” The original quote: “Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you’ve conquered human nature.”

“I cannot help it…. I love her against reason.” The original quote goes something like this, “I cannot help it; reason has nothing to do with it; I love her against reason.”

2. To indicate a break in the writer’s sequence of thoughts. But this is one place, where the usage of ellipses should be limited; otherwise, it may give an impression of confusion or that the writer is running short of words (doesn’t know what to say).

3. In comics, many a time, you will observe that the writers use ellipses instead of full stops.

4.  Many newspaper writers like Larry King (Larry King is the famous television and radio host in the USA. His ‘Larry King Live’ was one of the most popular talk shows on CNN. He also wrote a column called USA Today.) use ellipses, instead of the usual full stops. ‘Ellipses,’ they say, help them with their long drawn out thoughts. Herb Caen, the famous Pulitzer Prize winning columnist who wrote the very popular column in San Francisco Chronicle, coined the term ‘three- dot journalism’.

Remember these points when using ellipses…

– Ellipses mean ‘three dots’, not more, not less.

– There should be a space before and after the ellipses.

– Use ellipses sparingly (carefully).

Okay, these two sentences have been picked up from the net by Jasmeet. He wants to know, what’s wrong with them?

– Sorry, I beg your pardon.

Jasmeet, both mean the same- ‘sorry’ means ‘I beg your pardon’ and ‘I beg your pardon’ means ‘sorry’, so why repeat?

– I have a terrific headache.

Unless you’re one of those who loves to experience pain, you will not give the adjective ‘terrific’ to ‘your headache’. ‘Terrific’ means superb, wonderful and great. But you could use ‘terrible’ to define your headache, ‘terrible’ means very bad, awful.

Bye for now!

Keep smiling…

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