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Asked • 03/14/19

Why does an ellipsis have three dots?

It might be an odd question, but I'm trying to comprehend why do we use three dots in an ellipsis. Wouldn't two dots suffice? An ellipsis serves a dual purpose, it can be used to either denote an unfinished thought or omitted words, but why is it written using three dots? Have we any meaning assigned to two, horizontally aligned dots? In some programming languages two dots are used to specify ranges, i.e. all integer numbers between 1 and 9 (including both) may be described as 1..9, which is perfectly distinguishable from 1.9, as in "one point nine".I have stumbled upon [a question](http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2008/12/two-dots-or-three.html) on this topic and the answer suggests that *Oxford English Dictionary* uses double dots instead of triple dots because it shortens the contents considerably. If that is the case, why do we even bother with triple dots?

1 Expert Answer

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Alexander K. answered • 03/14/19

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