I was reading something wherein George Clooney answers questions about malaria, which he had recently, and I was struck by something: he needs a punctuation lesson. And who better to teach him than I?
Dear George Clooney,
First, let me say that you have fantastic hair. And you're a fine actor, even in the Facts of Life. And I think the work you do to shed light on important issues such as the situation in Darfur and the enormous problem of malaria around the world is honorable. And also, I think you're handsome. And if you were to ask me to, oh, say, have a cup of hot cocoa with you, I would not turn you down.
That being said, I'm going to have to cite you for Inappropriate Use of the Ellipsis. It's a minor infraction but one that is a pet peeve of mine. I break out in hives when people write like this...without any proper punctuation...they just keep typing and never end a sentence...because they keep (incorrectly) adding pauses...or unsaid words...or implying all sorts of thing. Because that is what an ellipsis is. It indicates a pause or something unsaid or implied. It has a few other uses, none of which are as a stand-in for other punctuation, which is what you were doing. Your response was littered with them, and all in places where a perfectly acceptable punctuation like a period or a semi-colon or even a dash would have sufficed. When you throw in ellipses at the end of every thought it reads like you're hiding something or being coy or that you're at a loss for words. Or worse, that you're having some sort of fit and can't remember what you were talking about or who you are and your stalling for time until it passes. You're a national treasure, George! Don't let the world fear for your mental health.
I'm not saying you shouldn't use the ellipsis. It's a pretty powerful tool. What would you think if you saw the following inside of Us Weekly: "George and Rachel enjoyed a cup of cocoa and...." Wink-wink, right? See, I'm all for the ellipsis. Even if, in this case, it just means a firm handshake. Because who doesn't love a firm handshake?
But we all must respect the rules, no matter how famous or nicely quaffed we are.
Hugs and Kisses and...a Firm Handshake,