Parentheses · 4 March 2017

I like to use parentheses when I write. (As if you have not noticed already.)

Part of the charm of parentheses is that you can put humor or things you think but might not be totally relevant to the whole piece you are writing. (As if any part of what I write is relevant.) Part of it is that you can clarify points that might need a bit more something. (Lots of my stuff needs clarification.) And of course, the big part of the charm is that it makes your words invisible. (Try it sometime.)

I also like to think that there are times when I put other people’s thoughts into parentheses. I suppose it is like channeling somebody or maybe it is more like just thinking what they think. (Yes Marc, I am still striving to live up to my moniker.) But regardless of how I use parentheses, I suppose they actually have real purpose for those who know how to write.

I actually do understand that parentheses are supposed to add clarity or make prose easier to read. And they can be used when using commas to serve that purpose just does not work. For instance, explaining the explanation explaining the explanation can get a bit tedious. Using parentheses for that explanation job can be much more readable.

(Bet you thought I was going to put parentheses in every paragraph.)

At any rate, I never really used to like parentheses. I thought they broke up the train of thought. Now, I realize that they can enhance the train or at least make the ride not quite as bumpy. I also realize that I use them quite a bit when I am blogging. And often it is to say something that is quite a different story. (This would be a great place to say, “…but that is another story,” but I do not have another story. Which is, of course, another story.)

(I must digress a bit. I know. Technically, this whole thing about parentheses is itself a digression from my normal bit of drivel. But I must say that I have no idea why I am writing about parentheses. Maybe it is just that I used quite a bit of them in a recent post. Or maybe I used a whole parenthetical paragraph in a recent post. (Actually, I have done that more than a few times.) Or maybe I am just digressing to digress.)

Well, if you are wondering why this post is so short, it is because there are so many parenthetical statements in it. You just could not see them because once you put something into parentheses, they often become invisible. So you might even think this piece is two paragraphs shorter than it really is. Still, I suppose it is a silly thing to write about parentheses. After all, nobody really knows what they are anymore. They just wonder why you are using the text versions of emojis or emoticons. ;) Which by the way, you ought not put in parentheses. It gives the smiley faces or winky faces double chins.

Like I said when I started, I really do like to use parentheses in my writing. (Now, if I could just figure out how to use them correctly.)

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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