I’m not a big fan of ellipses(…). I find that they’re overused to indicate a pause—a breath—when they should be used for pregnant pauses, when someone says or does something that’s not written down. This omission of information allows the reader the joy and excitement of putting the pieces together.
Justin Halpern masterfully used the ellipsis in his book (and tweets), Sh*t My Dad Says. I know I’m a little slow to have finally read this book, but better late than never, right? The ellipses throughout his dad’s comments show more of who Justin is than his dad. It’s a powerful tool of dialogue that is helpful within the constraints of Twitter.
Here are my favorites, taken from the book:
On My First School Dance
“Are you wearing perfume? …Son, there ain’t any cologne in this house, only your mother’s perfume. I know that scent, and let me tell you, it’s disturbing to smell your wife on your thirteen-year-old son.”
On Trying Out for the High School Freshman Football Team
“I ain’t letting you try out, you’re too skinny. …No, I hate to break it to you, but you can’t do whatever you want, and you most certainly are not a man.”
On Finding Out I Tried Marijuana
“Pretty great, right? …Really? Well, we differ in opinion then. Don’t tell your mom I said that, though. Tell her I yelled at you and called you a moron. Actually, don’t tell her anything. See, now I’m paranoid, and I didn’t even smoke any.”