How To Type Ellipses

The proper way to type an ellipsis is to use three periods with a space before and after and spaces among the periods:

Right:  Blah blah . . . blah blah.
Wrong:  Blah blah ... blah blah.
Worse:  Blah blah...blah blah.

Just as with the serial comma, newspaper style and book-publisher style varies. In newspapers and perhaps justifiably in web pages, typically no spaces are used among the periods in an ellipsis.

But in well edited publications, spaces are used. See the following style manuals:

Not only do these current style manuals indicate the use of spaces among the periods, but we can cite instances of this pattern being followed in the early 1800s, if not before. Changing this pattern is akin to changing the colors of traffic lights out of ignorance or just because one likes a different set of colors better. (Punctuation marks are signals, just as traffic lights are signals.)

The publications of the American Bar Association (ABA) demonstrate the conflict in style between journalism and book publishers. The “ABA Journal” uses no spaces ( ... ), whereas books published by the ABA use spaces ( . . . ). Of course, the “ABA Journal” uses what printers call “narrow measure”—narrow columns like those found in a newspaper. The narrow measure probably explains the elimination of the spaces among the periods in the “ABA Journal.”

Overcoming Stage Fright

The three most effective ways to overcome stage fright are the following:

  1. Prepare. Many people are afraid of making a presentation because they are not sure what they are going to say. If you don’t know what you’re going to say, you’ve got a good reason for being frightened. Eliminate your fear by preparing your presentation so that you are sure of what you’re going to say.
  2. Rehearse. Many people are afraid of making a presentation because they are afraid of how they might sound or look. If you don’t know how you’re going to sound or look, you’ve got another good reason for being frightened. To eliminate this fear, rehearse your presentation—preferably in front of a mirror with a tape recorder. You may find out you don’t like how you sound or look. At that point, two possible things may happen: First, you may do things to look and sound better; second, you are likely to accept that you’re not going to look or sound the way you’d like and resolve to simply do the best that you can. In either case, you will eliminate the uncertainty about how you sound and look, thereby becoming more relaxed, confident, and effective. In other words, eliminating the uncertainty and replacing it with reality (even if the reality isn’t pleasant) reduces the fear (anxiety).
  3. Breathe deeply and speak loudly during the presentation. Part of our response to fear is to tighten our stomach muscles. If you breathe deeply (from the diaphragm), you’ll relax the muscles. If you speak louder than you think necessary, you’ll have to breathe deeply. In this way, you’ll feel more relaxed and confident. This technique is almost guaranteed to eliminate a shaky voice, by the way. And very few people ever speak too loudly using this technique.

Periods and commas go inside closing quotation marks.

In American writing, periods and commas go inside closing quotation marks.

Right: He read an article entitled “The Art of Punctuation.”
Wrong: He read an article entitled “The Art of Punctuation”.

If you are British or a resident of any former British colonies (other than those of the United States), put the periods and commas outside closing quotation marks. For periods and commas, there is no rule that says you put them inside sometimes and outside other times, except in the very special case of bills that amend laws already passed by the U.S. Congress or a state legislature.