Special Characters

Q. An ellipsis is defined by three dots. Is there a particular reason that it is limited to three dots? I am looking to understand what the ellipsis signifies!

A. How many dots would you like? You can have as many as four if you put an ellipsis after a period. I don’t know of any significance behind the choice of three. Perhaps the number gradually came to be popular and then was standardized in style sheets and grammar for the sake of consistency, as well as to prevent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . silliness.