Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

By the Dots– or should I say Dashes (and Parentheses)

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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


One thought on “By the Dots– or should I say Dashes (and Parentheses)

  1. I too am a fan of the parentheses, so my answer would be “No! There can never EVER be too many of them…or of dashes.”

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