Editorial terms – E

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edition: a version of a document such as a book or journal. Edition numbers go up as new versions are published.

editorial style: the way in which words, punctuation, individual characters and numbers are presented when there is more than one possible treatment: it covers spelling, hyphenation, punctuation, capitalisation, the application of italic and bold type, the treatment of numbers and abbreviations, and other variables. See also house style.

elide/elision: omitting something. Numbers, words, letters and sounds such as vowels and consonants (as in ‘gonna’ or ‘heav’n’) can all be elided. When used in reference to numbers, it’s the omission of numerals in a number range in order to reduce the number of digits; ‘maximum elision’ is the omission of as many digits as possible, as in a form such as ‘1760–1’ (in which ‘176’ is omitted before the terminal 1). Numbers in the teens are never elided: 18–19, not 18–9. Whether and how much number ranges are elided is a matter of house style.

Words are often elided to avoid unnecessary repetition. In ‘I like dogs; my sister, cats’, the word ‘likes’ is left out and replaced by a comma to indicate the omission.

embedded lists: lists that are part of the body text – run on – rather than displayed separately from it with bullets, numbers, etc.

em rule/em dash: a dash that is twice as long as an en rule, found in the Advanced Symbols feature of Word. Some punctuation styles use a closed-up em rule—as here—as a parenthetical dash.

end matter: a term used to refer collectively to the parts of a book that appear after the main text, such as appendices, the bibliography or reference list, and the index.

endnotes: notes that appear at the end of the text (usually between the main text and the bibliography in a book) or at the end of chapters, articles or sections. See also footnotes.

endpapers: the sometimes decorative papers that join the cover to the inside pages of the book.

en rule/en dash: a dash that is longer than a hyphen and half as long as an em rule, and found in the Advanced Symbols feature of Word. In some punctuation styles – commonly in British styles – it is used spaced as a parenthetical dash; in many styles it is used without spaces in number ranges (eg pages 12–17).

epigraph: a quote at the beginning of a book, or the beginning of a chapter or section of a book, that lends additional meaning to the context of the chapter. Epigraphs are usually formatted in a different way to other displayed quotes in the chapter.

essential capitals: see minimum capitalisation

extent: the length of a book (number of pages).

extract: the name given to block quotes that are set apart from the main text and formatted in a distinct way; see also displayed matter.