The Economist/Intelligent Life opens the debate on what is the best punctuation mark…Kassia St. Clair chooses the ellipsis

The thoughtful pause, the embarrassed lull, the frigid hush and the exquisite hesitation before a punchline add nuance to the bald landscape of syntax. Ellipses cover a multitude of short silences.

No other piece of grammatical furniture is capable of this delicate versatility. Ellipses break the constraints of textual formality without being squeaky or excitable like the exclamation mark. Where a full stop or dash can make you sound as if you’re barking orders, a well-placed ellipsis softens blunt words.

With just three jabs of a digit you can elegantly express polite disagreement, thoughtfulness or expectation, or just let the other person know there’s more to come.

It’s always been my favorite…but you knew that…

Let’s go to the Common Core if you want to develop some serious eillipsiosity…

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