Ellipsis anonymous

I have a confession to make:

I’m addicted to ellipses.

It’s a problem I’ve had for a long time, and it’s a problem I mean to rid myself of.  Of which I mean to rid myself. Whatever.

I’m not sure when this addiction started.  At first, I simply used them in quotations, to indicate a section of the quote had been removed.  Then, the internet came. An ellipsis became a way to suggest “I have more to say, but I will spare you at the moment.”  Alternatively, it said, “this is awkward,” or sometimes, “here, if we were having an actual conversation instead of a written one, I would pause for dramatic effect.”  To me, an ellipsis was a comma on steroids.  It felt like unnaturally powerful way to use punctuation to make a point.

At some point, however, I started to notice my use of the ellipsis grow more and more liberal.  I would read over something I wrote, only to notice that I had ended every sentence with an ellipsis.  I started using it to represent a pause in my own thought process.  It no longer had any meaning, it was simply a written tick, a default punctuation, and an annoying one at that.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many ellipses-abusers on the internet, it starts to feel normal.

But I am determined to put an end to my abuse!  I am dedicated to using the ellipsis in a more responsible and effective way!  I will not allow it to go the way of the exclamation point, overused and meaningless!

Besides, I’ve found a new love, and that is the semi-colon.

–carmhelga

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