Punctuation

Dash or Ellipsis

Since Monday is my day to blog as an editor, I decided to talk about something I’ve seen a lot of lately and which is frustrating me. When is it proper to use a dash or an ellipsis? What is the difference?

To make the answer more frustrating for me, I was recently at a presentation by a well-known, multi-published author who gave a partially wrong answer to this question. So here is what I know. Feel free to argue with me if you disagree.

A dash indicates a sudden or harsh interruption, especially in dialogue. An ellipsis indicates words left out of a quotation or a soft pause.

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