Monday, January 9, 2012

Parenthe(ses)tically (not) Speaking

You love when I do grammar (poorly) first it was the Ellipsisical and now, my next favorite punctuation mark... 


It carries a one-two punctuation. Nothing like punctuation that comes in pairs.


noun, plural -ses [-seez] 
either or both of a pair of signs ( ) used in writing to mark off an interjected explanatory or qualifying remark, to indicate 
 groupings of symbols in mathematics and symbolic logic, etc.
Usually, parentheses. the material contained within these marks.
Grammar a qualifying, explanatory, or appositive wordphrase, clause, or sentence that
interrupts a syntactic construction without otherwise affecting it, having often characteristic
intonation and indicated in writing by commas, parentheses, or dashes, as 
William Smith—you must know him—is coming tonight.
an interval.

So, the way I'm reading this, "qualifying remarks" or "interjected explanations" or appositive (renamer) word... that INTERRUPTS (like the cow (moooo)) a syntactic construction.  I think we can (and will) describe this as the snarky comments that are liberally (or conservatively (or tea partily)) dusted across my postings.

I got a Bieber, and the only cure is...
more beatings!

I love that Will Smith is so popular now that his Fresh-Princeness is being used in grammar examples on Wikipedia.  I don't think it was Independence Day, Bad Boys, or iRobot (which I believe was Steve Jobs last movie).  No, this is what happens when your kid is lucky enough to work with the "Musical Genius" Justin Bieber.  

So why do I love the parenthesis's so much? I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I like to make with the snarky remarks.  I do it in person and on the phone.  It is better done where voice inflection can carry across my non-seriousness to the person to whom I am remarking.  Parentheses add that hint of a whisper, denoting that what is inside is meant for the reader only.

In addition, you have to have the right parenthesis to make all the fun emoticons like:
:) Smiley
;) Winkey
:)~ Tongue Out

The bracket makes your emoticons look like robots :] and ;] and lord knows robots don't have tongues, so this is just ridiculous :]~

Now braces aren't just for straightening teeth, but frankly make all your emoticons look like Angelina Jolie, which may be desirable for girls, but guys look funny using :} and ;} and ;}~ looks downright silly.

Suffice it to say, I'm not going all Debbie Downer on you so I won't explain he merits of making a frowney face and the impossibility without the left parenthesis.

I'm thinking that I don't ~tilde~ enough and I may have to start a new trend using ¥ to start words like ¥ou and ¥onder, what's ¥our favorite punctuation?  


  1. I personally use a lowercase p to make the "sticking my tongue out at you" face :p 

  2. That's cause you obviously don't smile (like Angelina or not) while sticking out your tongue.

  3. I used to teach grammar and am very partial to the parenthetical asides at which you excel. Keep up the good work, sir.

    Also, I signed up for Disqus and have yet to use it on my blog but now I am commenting under my "user" name, given to me by the kids who used to play and eat here as the boys were growing up so if you think I have two personalities, I do not...I have abut twelve.

  4. Interrobang! 

    Also the irony mark, which is the question mark backwards. nobody uses it.

  5. Multiple personalities, no! Couldn't be!

  6. Nice!? (you'll just have to envision it)
    I like that page. Clearly I have to use the interpunct which will be a nice way to say someone is being a boob (•)
    Autocorrection Typos courtesy of iPhone

  7. I absolutely, completely love parenthesis! They're the very foundation of my writing. Which possibly says something bad about my writing, but I don't care, nothing could stop our love.

  8. When I saw your URL, I read it as best off ates. I thought it must be about cooking, lol. Glad you're a parentheses fan like me.

  9. That list above, was supposed to have bullet points. Damn.

  10. Clearly... And yes, damn




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