“dot dot dot” Syndrome

YOUNG KEN:  Geez, Dad, it’s a mess up there in Washington!  I don’t know why those guys don’t just show some courage, work together and get some stuff done!  Geez…

DAD:  So what are you going to do about it?  You should run for office.

Now, as a young man, I did not take his message to mean that he thought I would be a great politician.  I took his message to mean “How frustrated are you?  Frustrated enough to invest YOUR time and resources in a solution?”

From that interaction as a young adult, I developed a pet peeve.

I call it “dot dot dot” syndrome.

It is the tendency among well meaning folks to call for an action without first acknowledging the complexity of the problem or taking the time to fully understand the challenges AND without committing to any degree of personal investment or accountability for said action.

The “dot dot dot” refers to the fact that they leave their declarative sentence unfinished….as in the following:

Johnny McBigBucks should donate his money to Fill-In-The-Blank Charity…”dot dot dot”…but I won’t spend a proportional amount of my own money on the same cause.


I don’t understand why it takes so long to get my order through the drive thru….even though I want my burger to be freshly made, not raw, nor having set under a heat lamp for any length of time.


Those dang politicians up in Washington should start working together to solve our nations problems…even though We The People can’t agree on what those solutions ought to be and I usually don’t even vote or teach my children that voting is their civic responsibility.

So there it is….”dot dot dot” Syndrome drives me nuts.

So the next time you find a friend or colleague (or yourself) honking about, complaining or expressing outrage about someone or something…just nod your head patiently, and when they are done with their rant simply say…

…dot dot dot…?


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