Citation, Documentation of Sources
Q. I am editing a nonfiction manuscript of interviews with several fiction writers. The author uses ellipses (fairly often) to indicate a long pause in speech or thought. Is this a correct use of ellipses? How do you differentiate between long pauses and omissions of some lines within the transcribed conversation?
A. Yes, ellipses are properly used to indicate long pauses. If you also use them to indicate omissions, then you need to differentiate them and explain in a note how you do so. One way is to use a plain ellipsis for a pause . . . and a bracketed ellipsis [. . .] for an omission.