Is… the ellipsis… useful?
author: ethan butterfield | staff writer
Now, I’m not saying the ellipsis is the worst thing in the world. I actually think it’s very useful.
Ellipsis. What can I say about those three little dots that hasn’t already been said? Well, probably a lot, actually, but that’s not the point. For those who are big on grammar, the ellipsis is a great way to omit speech or written words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues, or at least that’s what Google tells me when I look up the definition of ellipsis. What they are not good for is omitting sections of a film review so that producers can put something nice on the poster or Blu-Ray case.
Take into consideration, if you will, the movie Fifty Shades Freed. Let’s say that you and a significant other are going to a showing of said film. I don’t know why you would do this, but let’s just keep rolling with the example shall we? So anyhow, you both enter the theater, confident in your decision to see this piece of garbage, and you notice on the poster it says, “Fifty Shades Freed is a wonderfully made film…it shocks and awes…” Now, you’re probably thinking, “Huh, that’s a pretty good review for a film that has 12 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, what gives?” Well, it turns out that between the words “film” and “awes” there was a negative remark. So the review itself would, instead, look something like this: “Fifty Shades Freed is a wonderfully made film for the 1950’s when this kind of shit was still acceptable, it shocks and awes in the worst way possible.”
With that in mind, the ellipsis that should be taken with the most salt is when they single out words. An example being commonly used terms such as, “beautiful’… “masterful”… “stunning,” so on and so forth. The problem still arises, though, that these are words that can just be picked out of any film review and used for promotion despite their true meaning: “This film wishes it could be ‘beautiful’,” “Masterful, this picture is not,” “It’s ‘stunning’ that this movie found a budget at all.”
Now, I’m not saying the ellipsis is the worst thing in the world. I actually think it’s very useful. It’s a helpful tool in eliminating a lot of the fluff in movie reviews so that people can see what either Variety or Time Magazine, or Entertainment Weekly had to say about the newest blockbuster. The only problem that comes along is when money-grubbing studios try to use that to their advantage to sell as many tickets as possible on opening night. Seriously though, what kind of a movie studio would lie to their consumers to make a profit? That’s just crazy talk. Oh! I forgot to mention that this is all sarcasm.
My point is that if you’re going to go check out a film, or buy a DVD based on the blurbs from the box, remember that there’s more than meets the eye in that regard. That being said, if you enjoy things regardless of their review like I do because that’s just the type of madman I am, then go for it. In short… article… a blast.