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If midway in a multi-paragraph quotation, a paragraph begins with one or more prior paragraphs omitted, and the line starts mid-sentence with preceding words omitted, is the line capitalized after the ellipsis?

Chicago Manual of Style advises no ellipsis at the start of a quotation, I'm aware, but what of the case of a subsequent paragraph, preceded by an omission, in a long quotation?

CMOS §13.56, "Ellipses for the omission of whole or partial paragraphs," provides an example illustrating two ellipses in a row (one at the end of a paragraph, one at the start) from Alexander Pope’s Letter to a Noble Lord:

"Were it the mere excess of your Lordship’s wit, that carried you thus triumphantly over all the bounds of decency, I might consider your Lordship on your Pegasus, as a sprightly hunter on a mettled horse. . . .

". . . Unrivalled as you are, in making a figure, and in making a speech, methinks, my Lord, you may well give up the poor talent of making a distich."

However, in this case, reading the original here, the second ellipsis comes before a complete sentence. What if the omission and start of the new paragraph began mid-sentence:

". . . methinks, my Lord, you may well give up the poor talent of making a distich."

Would "methinks" then be capitalized?

1 Answer 1

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Craig Shrives, in Grammar Monster, possibly as reasonable a source as any hereabouts, and using the format I would, renders (example taken from the Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation)

  • Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

as

  • ... go ... where there is no path and leave a trail.

However, APA, like CMOS, apparently advises:

[D]o not include ellipses at the beginning or end of quotes, just for content you remove from the middle of the quotation.

[from Antioch.edu]

It probably expects capitalisation (perhaps [G]o ... where there is no path and leave a trail) especially if there is no preceding dialogue tag in a sentence, and an ellipsis to show omitted sentences.

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  • Thanks, but why is the first ellipsis omitted in your example of "[G]o ... where there is no path and leave a trail."? Just to be clear, the question concerns the mid-sentence start of a new paragraph after a preceding one. Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 21:09
  • The examples in the above answer do not deal with a multi-paragraph example where an ellipsis represents omission in the area I'm inquiring about. Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 23:22
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    With your example, capitalising in square brackets is universally acknowledged as an edited switch from lower-case. I'd probably add more than one ellipsis to show a sizeable omission, and as the continuation stands alone (in this case) as a sentence, capitalise using the square brackets. But different editors may have other ideas; ELU points out but does not prescribe different style choices. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 11:14

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