The intended meaning is that 'it', described simply, is 'everything'.

Would I write:

It is in short...everything.


It is, in short...everthing.

Instinctively, I believe that a comma is needed before "in short".

But the confusion arises here:

Is it a common enough phrase that the comma is not needed? Is it a publisher's preference situation? Author's preference? I've seen the phrase 'in short' both with and without commas. Normally two commas are used, as it's a parenthetical, but the ellipsis makes the second one unnecessary.

  • Common? I have no idea what it means.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 25, 2023 at 21:00
  • 2
    I agree, the comma followed by an ellipsis is a strange encounter. Why not just opt for the commas and ditch the ellipsis? It is, in short, everything.
    – TimR
    Sep 25, 2023 at 21:15
  • What is the sentence intended to mean?
    – alphabet
    Sep 25, 2023 at 21:36
  • 1
    But in short makes it longer… Sep 26, 2023 at 5:42
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Which (if any) is the grammatically correct form of this sentence? Short parentheticals are not barred from taking zero offsetting punctuation; the introductory comma (before 'in') is a style choice here. Do you want to cue for a short pause? I would do. // The end punctuation (after 'short') being different is unusual, but I'd agree warranted here. Punctuation is here to serve; unusual choices should be avoided where they might confuse, but ... Sep 26, 2023 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


It's such a clumsy sentence - more pauses than actual words. I'd opt for "In short it is everything." and ditch all the fussy extras, but that's just me. I learned to write for newspapers so I always look for a short, sharp sentence structure where possible. Best of luck!

  • 1
    Hello, Gristle. Possibly sound advice, but as it doesn't directly answer the actual question, more suitable as a 'comment'. Sep 26, 2023 at 11:40

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