I recall seeing the word "Ends." placed at the end of documents to indicate that, obviously, nothing else follows. Is this acceptable standard usage? It feels rather archaic (not that that's necessarily a bad thing), although it does serve a purpose. Are there any alternatives?

An example:

[...] just and truly free South Africa will be remembered by many generations to come” said Chief Justice Mogoeng.



  • 2
    I don't think I've seen this. Do you remember where you saw it - ie. what form of writing it was?
    – Kate S.
    Jul 14 '11 at 15:39
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    Could this be the same as "FIN" that you sometimes used to see at the end of films? Jul 14 '11 at 19:01
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    Context would really help here - screenplays? Tech writing? Newspaper columns? Long-form graffiti? Even if it's a common convention, it's probably a convention only in a very specific context.
    – Standback
    Jul 14 '11 at 21:30
  • @Craig: "Fin" is just the French word for "End". So "Fin" in French -language movies is the same as "The End" in old English-language movies.
    – Roy Dictus
    Jul 15 '11 at 12:15
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    @Roy Yes, I knew what it meant, but I've seen it in English films, too. Jul 15 '11 at 13:53

It is part of the standard way of finishing a press release. Some of these formal documents still use these conventions.

It comes, I think, from the time when press releases came on a teleprinter, and it was important to mark the end, so that it was clear to the recipient that the entire release had been received.


I've seen two or three hash marks ## or -30- at the end of press releases and news articles.


It's usually a full square that ends fx a news article. I believe there exist different kinds of text ending marks for different writing cultures, styles and genres. Take a look at these:




  • 3
    oh, a printer's dingbat. I never thought of that, but you're right. It does indicate the end of a piece, or an article within a larger publication. Jul 17 '11 at 0:48
  • And used in many ways - also in fx mathematic proofs or ending scientific examples.
    – Steeven
    Jul 24 '11 at 14:52

### and --30-- are/were used as industry-specific conventions to standardize and add quality controls to copy.

fin and various ornamental dingbats are used on the finished product, for the viewers help in recognizing the end of an article, book, section, chapter, film, etc. Again, certain conventions are established for each industry, and of course these evolve with time.

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