USING ELLIPSES TO MAKE WRITING LIKE SPEECH. Matthew J.X. Malady has an article in Slate on the increase in the use of ellipsis periods in text messages. He notes that speed is not an explanation for the increase because ellipsis periods don’t usually offer a short cut in typing. He quotes Clay Shirky, an NYU Professor who thinks that “ellipses are most often used as replacements for pause words such as um and uh.” Shirky says that texts have “more the character of speech, where whole, unbroken sentences are a rarity. Speech is instead characterized by continuous flow, with lots of pauses, repeats, false starts … and pauses to indicate changes in direction.” As I posted here, George Orwell would approve. He strongly believed that written English should be modeled on spoken English.

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