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Ellipses... ellipses everywhere:

94. Grandmaster of Shark
There is a tendency on this wiki to use ellipses instead of commas or even periods, mostly followed by an Understatement sinkhole or something similar, as if the writer would make a dramatic post due to the audacity of the statement.

So unless we want to make the impression the pages are narrated by William Shatner, we should really get rid of it.

Another thing I noticed are that brackets are often used instead of commas to mark relative clauses.

edited 2nd Jul '12 3:00:27 AM by eX

 2 peccantis, Sat, 7th Jul '12 2:44:41 PM Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
The rather... egregious use of ellipses permeates written style all over the Internet, it's not by far just a TV Tropes thing. To call it off on this site would, most likely, need mod fiat.
before the darkness arrives
World's Toughest Milkman
I would pay good money to hear TV Tropes read by Bill Shatner! [lol]

Anyway, I agree there may be mild overuse—though nowhere near as egregious as egregious—and occasional misuse, but at the same time, We're not supposed to be dry and boring, and I like being able to hear an auctorial voice on occasion, so I quite enjoy the occasional ... dramatic pause.

If it's actual misuse, don't hesitate to fix it. If it's something where, say, an em-dash might serve better, that's probably fine. But we can certainly use ellipses for more than elision, since we're not dusty, formal, dry, and academic. Let's not throw out the baby of style with the bathwater of misuse.
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
 4 Parable, Sat, 7th Jul '12 3:06:34 PM from California Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Many Faces
[up] I agree with this mostly. But in my wiki walking I've seen a lot more ellipses misuse then not. Nothing a comma wouldn't work better with.
Schrodinger's Goth: While inside the box, it is impossible to determine whether the Goth wishes she was never born, or wishes she was dead.
 5 Dragon Quest Z, Sat, 7th Jul '12 3:10:29 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
I personally reserve those for when there is an awkward pause, such as the example is about to describe something explicit by the context, and then it shifts to a euphemism.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
This has nothing to do with the tone we strife for, it's simply wrong grammar. Ellipses aren't used to indicated pauses in written sentences.

edited 7th Jul '12 3:17:10 PM by eX

 7 Dragon Quest Z, Sat, 7th Jul '12 3:16:25 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
[up]Where does it say the tone we strive for does not include that?
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
World's Toughest Milkman
Not just a pause, but it is used to suggest that there may be alternative words that could have been used, like the famous, "I never drink ... wine."

eta: and if you're going to suggest that Bram Stroker commited an "error" here, I suspect you need to spend a little time on Language Log learning how English actually works, rather than how your misguided high school teacher told you it works. Spend some time in the "Prescriptivist Poppycock" section. Note that official membership in that blog requires a PHD in linguistics.

edited 7th Jul '12 3:38:51 PM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
The line doesn't appear in the novel.

Also, as it is written speech anyway, I don't see how it is relevant, as it is supposed to emulate a person talking.

edited 7th Jul '12 4:20:15 PM by eX

 10 Dragon Quest Z, Sat, 7th Jul '12 5:24:04 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
[up]Still, where does it say we can't do it that way on this site, even if the context fits?

edited 7th Jul '12 5:24:17 PM by DragonQuestZ

I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
There's only one reason for this thread. Besides, how many of you know the proper usage of ellipses and dashes?
 
 12 Troacctid, Sat, 7th Jul '12 8:02:12 PM from California
Ellipses aren't used to indicated pauses in written sentences.
Sure they are.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
 13 Dragon Quest Z, Sat, 7th Jul '12 10:51:56 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
Great. Now I'm thinking of Linkara and Spoony's review of Warrior #1. "STOP SPEAKING IN ELLIPSES!"

edited 7th Jul '12 10:52:19 PM by DragonQuestZ

I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
World's Toughest Milkman
Many of our trope descriptions are also supposed to indicate a person talking! Many of them are downright chatty. It's part of the flavor of the site. We regularly address the reader directly: "You have finally defeated the Big Bad and won the princesses' hand. What do you do next? It's time to Go To Disneyland!" Ok, that's not a real trope, but we do that sort of thing all the time. And yes, a long(ish) pause of the type indicated in dialog by ellipsis is perfectly appropriate for our style.

That said, there is certainly ellipsis abuse on the site. If you can learn to distinguish between the valid uses we want and the invalid uses we don't, then you may start cleaning up some of the misuse. But until you learn to distinguish, I'd strongly advise leaving them alone.

eta: Actually, if you can point at some examples you have in mind it might help. Either we can clean it up, which will help the site, or it'll be fine, in which case you'll maybe have learned something. I'll even go so far as to say that I suspect the former outcome is more likely. :)

edited 8th Jul '12 12:15:26 AM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
 15 Willbyr, Sun, 8th Jul '12 6:42:28 AM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
[up] Nicely put.
94. Grandmaster of Shark
I am actually pretty surprised by the amount of bile and condescension that get thrown my way for merely pointing out the wrong use of grammar on the wiki. I have been neither impolite nor insulting, so I don't really see why I get treated like a half-illiterate idiot for pointing out that there is a tendency on this wiki for using ellipses in places where a comma would actually be appropriate.

For examples, I hit the random button a couple of times and this came up:

He wasn't exactly stranded or captured, but he was stuck...

This is pretty much So Yeah.

The villages automatically assume that the boy is the saviour... but he gets killed, leading the girl to disguise herself as him and lead the rebellion.

Ellipses in place of a comma.

This time he catches her...and promptly slides into the pond with her, as he's not anchored to anything and she outmasses him.

Easily the most common. Not quite sure what it is supposed to mean, I guess it's for emphasis.

Also, while our trope description are written rather colloquially, they are neither direct speech and most certainly not a dialog. I see what you mean, but I simply disagree. We have several projects to improve the writing on this wiki and I think this is one of the issues.

And I am not going to start a wiki wide clean up action on my own, I don't really see why you would feel the need to point that out.

edited 8th Jul '12 10:11:11 AM by eX

 17 Dragon Quest Z, Sun, 8th Jul '12 10:12:06 AM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
"the amount of bile and condescension"

Only a couple posts did that. Plus your statements about using ellipses still seem to be more rigid than this site actually follows. There are some bad uses, and those should be fixed, but you're declaring some bad when they aren't.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
 18 RJ Savoy, Sun, 8th Jul '12 10:54:48 AM from Edinburgh Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Reymmă
I don't remember any example on this site, but I've seen quite a few forum posts about the webs that use ellipses like Carrot uses other punctuation. It makes the text difficult to read, and gives me the impression that they are going for some rethorical effect that is completely lost by saturation (it can't have an effect if it is the normal state).

My advice is: only use ellipses when you can point to what effect you're trying to create in that particular sentence.

If I see any misuse, I'll be sure to correct it.
World's Toughest Milkman
I am actually pretty surprised by the amount of bile and condescension that get thrown my way for merely pointing out the wrong use of grammar on the wiki.
Well, first of all, there's the way you keep referring to matters of punctuation as "grammar", a very irritating habit to those of us who prefer precision in our language! tongue

Second of all, there's the way you keep claiming something is wrong that is not wrong! You seem unable to perceive any middle ground between fully-formal writing and completely informal dialog. This wiki is conversational*, and frequently uses conventions that are more like those found in dialog than in formal writing. This is not an error.

Finally, I don't think any of the "bile" is directed at you—merely at your misguided ideas.

Again, I strongly recommend that you spend some time on Language Log. It's a highly entertaining and addictive site, especially if you like language, and it'll shake loose some of your fierce attachment to hobgoblins of language—widespread-but-incorrect beliefs about how English "should be".

eta: * though we do try to keep it from having conversations with itself! grin

edited 8th Jul '12 1:11:23 PM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
Well, does any of you know all of the proper usage of the ellipse, and how to fix misusage? And the random examples all happen to be "misuse", so does it mean all of them are misused? [up]No. I don't want any more Grammar Nazis running around here, scolding any misuse. And what is you're quoting someone and that person misused it?

edited 8th Jul '12 1:31:36 PM by spacemarine50

 
World's Toughest Milkman
Re: the examples. eX correctly diagnosed the first one as being, basically, So Yeah. Which is not misuse, or wrong, but we probably don't want it. I tend to kill those when I find them.

The second one would be better with a comma. There's no good reason for a significant pause there. This is the closest to actual misuse, though it could be called borderline.

The third one looks like a perfectly reasonable significant pause. It could be done another way—might even be better another way—but it's definitely not wrong.

(As for Language Log, it actually tends to be a cure for grammar nazis, especially the all-too-common "I heard this rule in high-school from a teacher who wasn't an expert, so it must be true and I'm going to try to inflict it on the rest of the world" type. Which is about 90% of all grammar nazis in my experience.)
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
Ellipses as Hope Spot or Subverted Trope seem fairly common.

 23 Parable, Mon, 9th Jul '12 11:54:04 AM from California Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Many Faces
I actually like them when used with Hope Spot most of the time. The latter is a problem all of its own though.

edited 9th Jul '12 11:58:36 AM by Parable

Schrodinger's Goth: While inside the box, it is impossible to determine whether the Goth wishes she was never born, or wishes she was dead.
eX has a really good point. I've been through about 400 pages in the last two days cleaning up cruft. I've noticed it too. It's not a matter of being a Nazi about perfect writing style, it's a matter of something being way overused. While, yes, we are lax in breaks from "proper" writing to accommodate style, this is something that can become a problem. When people encounter the misuse over and over again, it becomes part of their mental picture for the style of the Wiki and they start using it. The misuse spreads and spreads until it becomes ingrained in the whole Wiki.

So stop arguing over semantics and just make a mental note to clear out the bad stuff when you see it.

 25 Dragon Quest Z, Mon, 9th Jul '12 5:41:22 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
We aren't claiming there isn't misuse or overuse. We're arguing that some uses are valid when ex claimed they are not.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
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