I'm feeling like discussing grammar today. Specifically, punctuation. That odd feeling sweeps over me more often than you'd think. In fact, one of my happiest moments at the Malice Domestic conference this year was discussing punctuation at the bar. Writers--what are you gonna do?
Our anthology group had a discussion as we were doing final edits for publication. Steve and I were of two minds about the ellipsis. I love the ellipsis...it trails off into nothingness, and nothing else will do when that's what you want....
Steve likes to use the three dots both in the middle of the sentence (or group of phrases, if what you've written can't really be called a sentence). I like to use three dots in the middle and four at the end. This was recommended to me some time ago and it seems logical. I've been using it for several years. The three dots are the ellipsis and the other dot ends the sentence with a period. I mean, what about a trailing off question...? (I did see this once as a question?... But I can't accept that.) If the question gets an end punctuation mark, the sentence should too, in my mind.
Both are acceptable in the Chicago Manual, by the way, so that was no help in our debate.
My problem is, I want my punctuation to be logical. Probably a holdover from being a programmer for too many years. I even wish I were British so I could put the period or comma where it belongs at the end of a quote. I hate saying that my werewolf story, "Retransformation," is included in our anthology. I'd much rather say my story, "Retransformation", is included. Why on earth should that comma go inside the quote?
I don't want to be British to the extent that I'd have to drive on the wrong side of the road...just for punctuation, and then only just for some punctuation. I'm too used to using double quotes for dialog to change that.
Do you have grammar/punctuation/spelling idiosyncrasies in your writing that drive other people nuts? If you want to see which ellipsis style we settled on for our short stories, you'll have to get hold of our anthology and page through it.