September 8, 2011 —
The use of three dots at the end of a sentence has a name: ellipsis. The word’s origin has been traced to the Greek language and is a series of marks that “usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or sentence, or whole section from the original text being quoted,” (www.wikipedia.org).
An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence; a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis). “When placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy longing.”
Not to be confused with an ellipse, “a plane curve that results from the intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that produces a closed curve” (it’s all Greek to me), this triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a “suspension point,” or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.
I use ellipses daily, in writing or conversation, where I often find my thoughts trailing off into the air, and as summer draws to a close, I begin to review where I’ve been, the wonderful concerts I’ve attended, the art shows perused, the long, lazy days at the dock and ...
Before melancholia takes hold, I’ll try to shake it off and be thankful for the few dry days we had. This past weekend, I joined the sold-out crowd of uber-fans who showed up (in droves) at Bethel Woods (www.bethelwoodscenter.org) to pay homage to Sir Elton John, who graced the Hudson Valley with his presence, his talent and most of all, his songs. As he played a solid three-hour (no intermission) set of hit after hit, I silently lamented the end of the concert season (I guess that’s why they call it the blues), took a few pictures and sat back to listen.
John, now 64, may have spread a bit (around the middle) but his music and (IMHO) incredible skill as a musician show no signs of age. Appropriately opening the show with “Saturday Night,” he instantly segued into “I’m Still Standing” and proceeded to deliver monster chart toppers “Bennie and the Jets,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer” and a 20-minute-long version of signature song “Rocket Man” that had the audience over the moon with excitement, appreciation and awe.