# [texhax] use of \ldots

Uwe Lueck uwe.lueck at web.de
Tue Feb 8 11:13:13 CET 2011

```"Rolf Turner" <r.turner at auckland.ac.nz>, 08.02.2011 07:35:30:
> On 8/02/2011, at 4:32 PM, Steven Jonak wrote:
>> I curious about the correct usage \ldots.  If I use it in a
>> sentence, which is correct:
>>
>> Just a moment\ldots now, there we are.
>> or
>> Just a moment \ldots now, there we are.
>>
>> Should a space come before the \ldots or not?
>
> I don't know if there's a rule on this, but my aesthetic
> sense finds a space before the \ldots preferable.  However I
> have the impression that most, if not all, others omit
> such a space.  As my elder brother says ``There is no
> accounting for taste.  Or the lack thereof.''
>
> BTW you need to use:
>
>    Just a moment \ldots\ now, there we are.
>
> i.e. you need a backslash *after* the \ldots or you
> *won't* get a space before the ``now''.

The last point is not quite correct, cf. below.

The documentations of packages ellipsis and lips
(texdoc ... or ctan.org/pkg/...) refer to the Chicago Manual
and help improving the standard commands of Plain TeX
and LaTeX.

If we are exchanging personal views here: I think
1. Before the dots, there should be either
(a) an interword space or
(b) the same space as between the dots.
(b) is (I think) appropriate in omitting the ending of a _word_,
as in `f...', (a) should indicate omitting _words_ in a _sentence_.
(I am omitting some other cases ...)
2. After the dots, there should be either (a) and (b) as above, or
(c) intersentence space.
Here, (a) is fine before punctuation, as in (x_0, ..., x_n),
(b) if a sentence is explicitly continued (see \$\dots\$ below),
(c), of course, when a new sentence begins after the dots.
(again omitting some other cases ...)

\dots and siblings seem to be made for 2.(a) only
(forcing "inderdot space" after the last dot)
which makes 2.(b) and 2.(c) difficult.
2.(b) can be obtained by \$\dots\$
(`Oh \$\dots\$ does this mean ...?') ...

...,

Uwe.
```