My favorite bits from the Wikipedia entry for the ellipsis, which I'd somehow never read till today:
- from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission" or "falling short"
- The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.
- In reported speech, the ellipsis is sometimes used to represent an intentional silence, perhaps indicating irritation, dismay, shock or disgust. This usage is more common amongst younger, Internet-savvy generations.
- When applied in Polish language syntax, the ellipsis is called wielokropek, which means "multidot".
- As the Japanese word for dot is pronounced "ten", the dots are colloquially called "ten-ten-ten" (てんてんてん, akin to the English "dot dot dot").
- As a device, the ten-ten-ten is intended to focus the reader on a character while allowing the character to not speak any dialogue. This conveys to the reader a focus of the narrative "camera" on the silent subject, implying an expectation of some motion or action. It is not unheard of to see inanimate objects "speaking" the ellipsis.
- Although an ellipsis is technically complete with three periods (...), its rise in popularity as a "trailing-off" or "silence" indicator, particularly in mid-20th century comic strip and comic book prose writing, has led to expanded uses online.
And because I'm not afraid to be servicey: instead of using three periods in a row, hit option + ; on a Mac or alt + 0133 on Windows to get a proper single character ellipsis and save yourself two whole characters on your next tweet. You're welcome!