Dumb ellipses?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/03/22 21:06 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/03/22/1934083.aspx

In the spirit of dumb quotes

A regular reader pointed me this one....

It would seem that Word' AutoCorrect feature strikes again. :-(

Take a look at the episode list provided by epguides.com list for the show What About Brian:

You might recognize how some lines have had ... (U+002e U+002e U+002e) replaced by … (U+2026), rather than just doing something different typographically with the three dots.

I wonder if it would have any impact to start an online petition to turn this feature off by default would stop the madness before it destroys the internet, Professor Chaos style!


This post brought to you by  (U+2026, a.k.a. HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS)

# Brant Gurganus on 22 Mar 2007 11:25 PM:

I am actually a fan of such character corrections as long as it is actually changing to an ellipsis character and not some special symbol in a symbol font. The only time I use a ... instead of an actual ellipsis character is when something only supports the ASCII character set or otherwise does not allow that character.

One difference between the UNIX world and Windows world I have seen is that in actual use, the Windows world documents are more likely to use the correct character. As a result, there are some documents formatted on UNIX and as a result of the console font used at the time of preparation, you will see a ` paired with a ' which nowadays looks weird because those characters don't pair like that but the glyphs used originally made it look like they did.

# spoonman on 22 Mar 2007 11:44 PM:

Honestly, what was the point of encoding all of these things if you don't want to use them?  You want an ellipses, so why shouldn't you use that character?  If you font has ellipses that look like ass, that seems to be a better case for changing the font.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 23 Mar 2007 1:00 AM:

Does it really look good to have it sometimes work and sometimes not, as in this sample?

If it were typographically based, it would be consistent....

# pcooper on 23 Mar 2007 8:06 AM:

It depends on whether you think of an ellipsis as "a special way for 3 periods to look", or "its own character that's as different from 3 periods next to each other as a colon is different from 2 periods on top of each other". I'm not sure which of those is correct.

If we take the latter position, then it looks to me that the auto-correct either isn't being triggered enough, or maybe we ought to have an ellipsis key on our keyboards that we learn how to use for this case.

# Erzengel on 23 Mar 2007 2:59 PM:

There are two problems I see :

1) Sometimes the triple period is not being turned into an ellipse. I'd guess this is probably a copy/paste error as Autocorrect does not make the autocorrections in pasted text.

2) Using Word, an editor intended for creating formatted readable documents for humans, to create something else. I ran into this when I used to write psudo-code in Word. I hated what Autocorrect did to quotes, auto-capitalizing after periods/newlines, turning minus signs into long dashes, etc., but I realized that was because I was using the wrong tool for the job. I could instead use Visual Studio, which is intended for code, but I chose Wordpad because it doesn't have the auto-correction features (word), doesn't want me to be writing in a real language (Visual Studio), but still allows me to format it. Now if only I could do the Reviewing->Comment in Wordpad...

I'm just wondering why you think it should be turned off by default? IMO, if you use Word for what it is designed for, then these autocorrect options work fine. Just don't use it as a mail client, or whatever. Although they should probably have a button to turn on something akin to the bbcode's code tag, turning off all auto-correct while active.

referenced by

2013/04/03 “The ‘Smart Quotes’ are leaking all over the Internet!”

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