There aren’t a lot of things in the world that truly enrage me, aside from a few political topics, people who brake going through green lights, my student loans, how hard it is for me to eat crab legs, etc. But I digress. There is one thing that literally makes me quake with uncontainable rage: the ellipsis. That dot-dot-dot that drives me insane wondering what the hell this person is actually trying to communicate to me. Let me provide a very short example email string:
Me: Is that meeting time ok with you?
Jerk: 10 am should be fine…
WHY. WHY THE ELLIPSIS. Are you disagreeing with my meeting time but don’t want to tell me? Do you hate me? Do you disagree with all of my life choices? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!
Here’s another that I get fairly often in our inter-office instant messaging program:
WHY THE ELLIPSIS. Did I do something wrong? Do you want to tell me I’m fired? Did somebody die? Is there a ham sammich in the cafeteria for me? WHY?!
Jerk: (after I answered their question) Thanks…
Did I not actually help you? Was my answer insufficient? Do you think yourself superior to me and must speak in ellipses so I will be reminded of my diminished position on the ladder of life choices after our conversation is over? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST TELL ME.
The ellipsis sounds immediately condescending to me in all of these examples and I can’t shake that. Am I the only person who becomes paranoid in this situation? I literally can’t help thinking why they decided to dot-dot-dot the end of that sentence or word. This happens at least once a day. Then you have the second example, which doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I instantly think I’m in trouble. Why else would somebody put an ellipsis at the end of that? I immediately think “oh god what now.” But it has never once been something bad. There are plenty of correct ways to use an ellipsis, but all these people succeed in doing is making me paranoid. It almost always sounds passive-aggressive to me. Please just hit the period button on your keyboard one time and leave it at that, like a decent law-abiding citizen, instead of dot-dot-dotting all over my brain!