Todays’s Daily Post prompt: “By the Dots: We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!”
I admit it — I use a lot of dashes. (And parentheses).
I think other punctuation marks, like commas, provide a practical service to readers by directing them to momentarily pause and to mentally group together a number of elements of the sentence. Commas provide clarity and an easy flow to a sentence.
However, other punctuation might provide more of a service to the writer. In my case, the use of dashes and parentheses allow me to employ dramatic timing and provide a subtle way (or maybe not-so-subtle) of drawing other points into my text that would not necessarily fit otherwise. That is, dashes suggest something new is about to be revealed and parentheses provide a place holder for embellishments and explanations.
Like any good thing, dashes and parentheses can be overused. When there are too many, the flow of the writing may be slowed — even made jerky (like being on a bumpy road) — just like this.
Now’s your chance to chime in — what do you think? Is there such a thing as too many dashes and parentheses? (If you are so inclined, put your thoughts in the comments section below).
ljgloyd (c) 2015