Fox Writers Contract Horatio Caine Disease

ellipsis n.
1. the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete
2. marks or a mark (as …) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause

Like so many other common sense principles, the proper usage of an ellipsis seems to have eluded the people who make these headlines. While I was sad to see the trusty old Impact font go, I had no idea what Fox News had in store. Since adopting a more professional looking typeface for their horrible front-page abominations, whoever is in charge of creating these things has decided to introduce the previously rare concepts of emphasis and timing. As you might expect, this has already gotten completely out of hand.

Before I even get to the topic of Fox's egregious use of punctuation, I want to point out the abuse of font formatting. Three types can be seen in each of the images to the left: size variation, capitalization and boldfacing. The reason for using all three at once is beyond my comprehension, as I feel that one is sufficient to get your point across (maybe two if you're desperate). Whenever I read these, I always feel like someone is shouting at me and the volume level is constantly fluctuating, which is very much like listening to Glenn Beck. It gives me a headache and I wish they would stop with the theatrics.

This brings me to my original objection, the molestation of the ellipsis. Can someone please explain this to me? In none of these examples is an ellipsis necessary or even appropriate. The first two come the closest to making sense, because the headlines are referencing something that was said by another person. Unfortunately, neither of these are wrapped in quotation marks, which means that there is no reason to indicate an omission. It seems to me that they are doing this, much like the previously mentioned formatting free-for-all, purely for dramatic effect. This is no real surprise since Fox News definitely specializes in beating your brain to mush with nonsense for the sake of being loud.

If I ignore the bad formatting, the ellipses still linger in my mind. Instead of a maniac with a megaphone, I now imagine David Caruso softly reading the first line when suddenly, he pauses, removes his sunglasses, takes a deep breath, and says something that makes him seem like the biggest jackass on the planet.

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