Presentation on theme: "What is the Point? Punctuation Parenthesis & Dashes."— Presentation transcript:
What is the Point? Punctuation Parenthesis & Dashes
Parenthesis Parenthesis: placing a part of a sentence between a pair of such punctuation marks as commas, dashes, and brackets, to show that they are asides or interruptions in the normal flow of text.
Parenthesis You can use a pair of commas, a pair of dashes or a pair of brackets.
Commas, Brackets, Dashes The type of the writing is affected by the choice of the punctuation: -Commas are most commonly used. -Brackets tend to be used in formal writing. -Dashes tend to be used in informal writing.
Dashes Dashes tend to be used in informal writing. If dashes are functioning as parenthesis: there will be two of them the sentence would make sense if the reader skipped over the parenthesis.
Dashes Example “Well, it was like this : the kidss who had come off the trip – some of them as young as thirteen - had just got a bit bored with waiting…” Dashes have been used as the sentence is conversational and informal. The sentence would make sense if the parenthesis was skipped over.
Summary so far There are three ways to punctuate with parenthesis. There will always be a pair of punctuation marks. The sentence would make sense without the parenthesis.
The POINT of PARENTHESIS To add in additional information. To make an aside to the reader. To alter the tone of the prose.
Example “The publishers of ‘Mad About Boys’ – a candidly-titled magazine aimed at nine-to 12- year-old girls - must have been weeping into their spreadsheets last week.” Dashes are used as parenthesis Dashes are appropriate as the tone is informal. The parenthesis includes the additional information the reader needs. It explains what “Mad About Boys” is.
Okay, but be more specific! What is the IMPACT of the parenthesis? “The publishers of ‘Mad About Boys’ – a candidly-titled magazine aimed at nine-to 12-year-old girls - must have been weeping into their spreadsheets last week.” The information included between the brackets tells the reader the specific genre and target audience of the publication. The dashes help to lighten the tone, before the image of the publishers crying in their beds. By including the additional information, the writer seems to liken the publishers to their audience. This creates an amusing, if slightly cruel image.
Example “Some third world farmers throw their lot in with Western Corporations (farming is the modern imperialism) or else work for slave wages.” Brackets are used as parenthesis. Brackets are appropriate as the passage is formal. The brackets contain an observation/opinion.
Okay, but be more specific! “Some third world farmers throw their lot in with Western Corporations (farming is the modern imperialism) or else work for slave wages.” The information included in the brackets tells the reader that it is through farming that the West dominates and controls other countries. The brackets, being more formal, show that a serious opinion is being given. The reader is made aware that the writer feels that the third world farmers have no real choice: they must submit to the control of the West, or lose out financially.
Example “How about Mills and Boon? Where do you draw the line between literature and (not to put too a fine point on it) junk?” Brackets are used as parenthesis. Brackets are surprising as the language is informal. The brackets contain a qualification.
Okay, but be more specific! “How about Mills and Boon? Where do you draw the line between literature and (not to put too a fine point on it) junk?” The brackets contain a warning that an unrefined or crude word is going to be used. This is given as an aside to the reader. The writer perhaps felt that an unqualified comparison of “literature” and “crap” would be too stark. The impact of this is to let the reader know that the writer is aware that the word is distasteful, rather than that they are uncouth.
SO… The point of parenthesis (that I have tried to explain) is to help the reader – that is, you – to understand (yeah, like that’s gonna happen) many possible things. The parenthesis (like, brackets and stuff) can clarify details, alter the tone and help the reader to understand the writer’s personality (what a worry!) among other things. Remember to be specific! (Yes, I know you know…)