Q. When quoting from a book and using the four-dot method of ellipsis, can one arrange the order of sentences differently from how they appear in the book? Could one, for example—in an attempt to give a concise, overall impression of the author’s thinking—begin with a quote from chapter 10, then from chapter 4, and finally from chapter 1? A colleague and I have both looked in the manual and couldn’t find anything.

A. I suspect the reason this isn’t covered in CMOS is that it’s pretty much unthinkable. Keep the quotations separate, without ellipses.