Punctuation

Q. At the end of a paragraph, is a single word followed by an ellipsis considered a widow? My thought is that punctuation shouldn’t be considered, and that it would be a widow, but then the ellipsis does seem more substantial than a period or other mark . . .

A. It’s a widow only if it is the first line at the top of a printed page. As for whether it would pass elsewhere, that’s debatable. CMOS 17 allows a single word in that position, but if it is hyphenated, a minimum of four characters (not counting punctuation) should be carried over. See CMOS 17, 2.116; see also figure 3 in “How Books and Journals Are Produced.”