Although different in that their angle of trend is sharper than the sideways trend of combinations, double and triple zigzags can be characterized as non-horizontal combinations, as Elliott seemed to suggest in Nature’s Law. However, double and triple threes are different from double and triple zigzags, not only in their angle but in their goal. In a double or triple zigzag, the first zigzag is rarely large enough to constitute an adequate price correction of the preceding wave. The doubling or tripling of the initial form is typically necessary to create an adequately sized price retracement. In a combination, however, the first simple pattern often constitutes an adequate price correction. The doubling or tripling appears to occur mainly to extend the duration of the corrective process after price targets have been substantially met. Sometimes additional time is needed to reach a channel line or achieve a stronger kinship with the other correction in an impulse wave. As the consolidation continues, the attendant psychology and fundamentals extend their trends accordingly.As this section makes clear, there is a qualitative difference between the number series 3 + 4 + 4 + 4, etc., and the series 5 + 4 + 4 + 4, etc. Notice that while impulse waves have a total count of 5, with extensions leading to 9, 13 or 17 waves, and so on, corrective waves have a count of 3, with combinations leading to 7 or 11 waves, and so on. Triangles appear to be an exception, although they can be counted as one would a triple three, totaling 11 waves. Thus, if an internal count is unclear, the analyst can sometimes reach a reasonable conclusion merely by counting waves. A count of 9, 13 or 17 with few overlaps, for instance, is likely motive, while a count of 7, 11 or 15 with numerous overlaps is likely corrective. The main exceptions are diagonal triangles of both types, which are hybrids of motive and corrective forces.Orthodox Tops and Bottoms
Sometimes a pattern’s end differs from the associated price extreme. In such cases, the end of the pattern is called the “orthodox” top or bottom in order to differentiate it from the actual price high or low that occurs intra-pattern. For example, in Figure 1-11, the end of wave 5 is the orthodox top despite the fact that wave 3 registered a higher price. In Figure 1-12, the
end of wave 5 is the orthodox bottom. In Figures 1-33 and 1-34, the starting point of wave A is the orthodox top of the preceding bull market despite the higher high of wave B. In Figure 1-47, the end of wave Y is the orthodox bottom of the bear market even though the price low occurs at the end of wave W.
This concept is important primarily because a successful analysis always depends upon a proper labeling of the patterns. Assuming falsely that a particular price extreme is the correct starting point for wave labeling can throw analysis off for some time, while being aware of the requirements of wave form will keep you on track. Further, when applying the forecasting concepts that will be introduced in Lessons 20 through 25, the length and duration of a wave are typically determined by measuring from and projecting orthodox ending points