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VO4TA: Ellipsis and Aposiopesis

Hugh P. Klitzke blogs at


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VO4TA: Ellipsis and Aposiopesis


Ellipsis from Wikipedia - (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: "omission" or "falling short") is a series of dots that usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning.  Depending on their context and placement in a sentence, ellipses can also indicate an unfinished thought, a slight pause, and nervous or awkward silence.

Aposiopesis - (also from the mighty Wikipedia) is the use of an ellipsis to trail off into silence—for example: "But I thought he was . . ." When placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy or longing.

We frequently encounter them used incorrectly in scripts (especially in commercials).


Because in storyboards, ellipsis are used to denote that the voiceover continues as the shot cuts from one scene to another.  

But the problem is that we see ellipses and apotheosis and quite naturally want to pause and honor them instead of continuing the thought.  

So, you need to decide when to honor or  ignore those three little dots.

The audition is for the ear of the decision maker (whoever that might be, producer, director, money people - whomsoever) Make the text alive rather than perfectly adherent to punctuation that might be wrong!  



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