It seems to me that a lot of people misuse the ellipsis. Worse, it seems that a lot of folks have transformed the ellipsis into an extremely long string of periods (...............) to indicate, oh, hell, all sorts of things. This long string of periods can indicate an extremely long pause, a long pause followed by a shift in thought, and sometimes it seems to indicate rudeness. Sometimes I can’t figure out what it means.
Is there something about the rules for using the ellipsis that I don’t know about? Why are people misusing it and what can we do about it?