i’m running out of ellipses…

As a former card-carrying English major, and the kind of person who gets irritated by misplaced apostrophes (“Ladie’s Shoe’s on Sale!”), I have to make an embarrassing confession–I am addicted to ellipses…

I think I first saw the power of the magical three dots when I would read Larry King’s newspaper column. Larry would simply string together a handful of not-very-risky opinions (usually, but not exclusively, about celebrities), introduced by some regular guy phrase like “for my money” or “if you ask me”–add some ellipses, and you’ve got a column.

For my money, you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy than Will Smith…if you ask me, that Cristina Aguilera can really move…if you put a gun to my head, I’d have to to call cappellini my favorite noodle–not for nothing, but I love how it’s thicker than angel hair and not as thick as spaghetti…

Once I decided to share my unhinged ramblings with the world outside my apartment, it wasn’t long before I began using ellipses to excess…At first, I really believed I could use them responsibly—as something to compliment an otherwise well-reasoned essay. All my friends were using them anyway…besides, I knew I could always stop using them if it got out of control.

When I first started using them, it felt great! I could start a thought, and then just…trail off. Or I could set up some marvelous joke, and then simply…move on to another joke. No need for sticky segues or troublesome transitions…I would just start another thought after typing three periods.

I’d been using ellipses recreationally for years, but then things got crazy… They were just too easy to find—the period’s right there on the keyboard, and if you’re already using one, why not three?…I tried not to use them when I was alone—that would mean I had a problem…But then I started using them at home…on to-do-lists (“grocery store…library…Punctuation Anonymous meeting”)…on my resume (“clerk…cashier”)…my god, even on the memo line of a check (“cable bill…July”)…

I know I need to quit, but I don’t know how…I worry my writing won’t be as fun—maybe other writers won’t want to hang out with me if I’m not ellipsing…I want it to look like I’m just about to add something else…something even more important…

But I’m gonna try…one period at a time. Because if I can beat this, maybe I can stop beginning sentences with conjunctions…but at least prepositions are parts of speech I would never end a sentence with…OH MY GOD I CAN’T CONTROL MYSELF! The worst part is the fear…If I don’t end an idea with three dots, I’ll have to actually…make a point…and be done with it…it seems so final…as if I’ve got nothing else to say.

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Posted 7 May 2011 by MisterComedy in category IT'S WHAT I DO