Ellipses indicate the omission of words from quoted text. Separate the points from each other and from surrounding copy with spaces. For the following examples, this paragraph was used:
No manual we’ve found answers every question of grammar, punctuation or spelling faced by Samford University editors. In developing this guide, we’ve tried to answer some of those questions, taking into account the conventions of written university language. We’ve compiled lists of university-specific information, such as building names and academic degrees offered. We’ve set down our solutions to style issues that come up often for editors in this office. We’ve based our decisions on our editors’ preferences, on the long-standing preferences of university administration and on the experiences of other editors and proofreaders on campus. Our goal: to develop a style that makes sense both within the university and to the many audiences for which we write, and that will help us—and others across campus—be consistent, clear and correct.
Three dots indicate the omission of words within a sentence.
No manual we’ve found answers every question . . . faced by Samford University editors.
Four dots indicate the omission of the end of a sentence, the first part of the next sentence, or a whole sentence or more (including a whole paragraph).
When using four dots to indicate the omission of the end of a sentence, treat the first dot as the period (i.e., don’t put a space between it and the word), even though the period might not fall at that point if the sentence were complete. The quoted passages that precede and follow a four-dot ellipsis need to be grammatically complete. They must be sentences, either alone or as part of the nonquoted copy preceding them. If what you’ve quoted isn’t grammatically complete, use only three dots.
We’ve compiled lists. . . . We’ve set down our solutions to style issues. . . . We’ve based our decisions on . . . the experiences of other editors and proofreaders on campus.
It is usually best to capitalize the first word of a sentence following four dots, regardless of how it’s treated in the original text.
For other uses of ellipses, or for rules governing their use in scholarly works, consult a style manual appropriate to the discipline.
Use to refer to an electronic mail program.
Check your e-mail for messages.
Use e-mail messages, or just messages or notes, to refer to pieces of e-mail. Do not use e-mails. Maintain the hyphenation to show the meaning of electronic mail and to be consistent with terms such as e-commerce and e-business.
e-mail and web addresses
Present e-mail and web addresses in roman, lowercase* type:
*Some systems are case sensitive. When in doubt, check with the owner of the e-mail or web address.
If the numeral 1 is part of the address, use a typeface in which the numeral is clearly distinguishable from the capital I (i) and lowercase l (L).
Drop http://and/or www.from web addresses if unnecessary. (To ensure correct use of the shortest address possible, type it into a web browser and determine if the correct website displays.)
If possible, avoid breaking e-mail and web addresses, especially at periods or dots. If the address will not fit on a line, don’t add a hyphen or other punctuation. Break after existing punctuation, such hyphens, slashes, double slashes, @ and tildes (~):
Go to the home page—samford.edu/
admission—for more information.
Contact the director via e-mail at jsmith@
samford.edu or by telephone at 205-726-0000.
If you end a sentence with an e-mail or web address, use end punctuation as needed:
For more information, e-mail the director at email@example.com.
emerita, emeritus, emeriti
Emerita refers to a woman, emeritus to a man, emeriti to a mixed group or to a group of either sex. Emeritus designations should follow the important noun in a title:
Professor Emeritus of English John Smith
President Emerita Jane Doe
Trustees Emeriti of Samford University (as in a headline)
The committee included four professors emeriti.
ensure, insure, assure
Although these words are often used interchangeably, add an extra measure of clarity by making the following distinctions:
Use ensure to mean guarantee.
To ensure each student the best chance for success, we offer the services outlined below.
Use insure when referring to insurance.
The famous pianist insured each of his hands for $1 million.
Use assure to suggest the removal of doubt or worries from a person’s mind (as in reassurance).
She assured me Ms. Jones was an experienced editor.
entrance examinations, names of
See abbreviations and acronyms.
equal opportunity statements
See nondiscrimination statements.
Avoid, unless you mean it. If citing a few illustrative examples, there is no need to put etc. at the end. If, however, you want readers to extrapolate from one or two examples to all possible instances, an etc. may be useful. When you use etc., it should be set off by a comma or pair of commas.