Sunday, June 16, 2019 07:42

Vanishing Point

A Google or Bing Search for “…” returns zero results, which is strange since I frequently use this construct in all of my writing. I’m unable to use the search engines to generate any insights for this blog post (though I can use “…” as a Microsoft Word document title). Therefore I have to create this post relying solely on brain power :.)

There are two ways in which I use “…”. One is to “try to” end a sentence. To me, this is the writing equivalent of speaking an incomplete idea…to have a sentence end without killing off the thought completely. In speech, I would be waiting for the other person I’m speaking with to interrupt my thought with some sort of retort. If he/she doesn’t, then ultimately, I would continue to the logical end of what I’m trying to say.

Or, I might use “…” to link two sentences together. Ordinarily, this might seem odd. Why wouldn’t I end the first sentence with a period and begin the second sentence properly? Or, if the sentences are thematically linked, why wouldn’t I connect them with an “and”?

Good question. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always written “long sentences” and writing long sentences with proper grammar can sometimes get pretty cumbersome. If I break apart a really long sentence with “…”, I can avoid the grammar conundrum and punctuate each part of the long sentence as if it were a simple sentence.

However, I think the true answer lies a bit deeper than that. I’m very much an auditory learner and the patterns of human speech differ greatly from writing. The flow of verbal discourse is quite nuanced and doesn’t match up well with strict grammar. People say something…pause to reflect on what they are saying…listen to someone else speak (or perhaps get distracted by their smartphone)…and then pick up their thought after the distraction passes. I think my writing attempts to mimic speech…more specifically, the voice in my head that’s dictating what I’m typing on my keyboard. I long since quit trying to adapt my style to more “proper writing”…my earliest blog posts attempted to do this and they all suck IMO.

I write very fast and when I get into the “zone” and when I get into a really good “vibe”, I need to get all my thoughts out on the screen as quickly as possible. The “.” key is a barrier to my progress. I lose my writing “flow” every time I hit the “.” key once (hopefully, not for good) which forces me to have to kick start my brain again to finish my piece. However, when I hit the “.” key three times instead of one, it’s the equivalent of my brain blowing through the stop sign with the gas pedal on the floor and continuing my train of thought until it flames out.

It’s wonderful that the advent of blogging has freed up people from strictly following very constrictive grammar rules. IMO, social media and text messaging has actually taken this too far and much of the new “slang” is awkward for me and quite undecipherable. However, these new writing freedoms have allowed me to express myself in a way that’s most comfortable to me without being called on the carpet for violating written speech…and that’s wonderful.

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