Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Ellipses

Originally posted on December 23, 2017

I love ellipses, that punctuation symbol ( …) that leaves room for imagined and un-imagined words, and frankly inexpressible experiences. I wonder if ol’ Sigmund (Freud) had any sense of the ultimate in-express-ability of many feelings. There are a couple of books about words in other languages that express things for which there are no English equivalents. There is an inadequacy of language, any language, but I also suspect there are other interpretations that might be made.

My colleague and friend, Shelly Korshak, M.D. wrote: Equally important, words aid in organizing the feelings… helping them become conscious… helping the person heal, integrate and release the feelings. Otherwise they stay repressed…then the person is stuck with rigid defenses (coping mechanisms) or else he or she explodes with feelings as they spill out or burst out at inconvenient times…  They also make collaboration possible…and all the benefits of teamwork, group work and collaboration…as beautifully described in your article…this could be our slant for that article…  (She writes with many ellipses.)

I responded that language can do this, but so can art, music, and drama, though less directly. Incidentally, her use of the ellipsis is interesting!  (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek  élleipsis, "omission"  or "falling short") is a series of dots that usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning.

This is not to be confused with an ellipse—which, in mathematics, is a curve on a plane sur-rounding two focal points such that the sum of the distances to the two focal points is constant for every point on the curve. (I got that from the internet.)


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