Someone recently accused me of using way too many parenthesis in all of my posts. Hmm. So I decided to go without any. And of course, just as I sat down to write, I could think of a million ways to use ‘Parenthesis’ effectively. And that got me thinking about Parenthesis. Yessir! Stay with me now.
According to the golden rules of Punctuation, Parentheses should ideally be used to indicate an “aside” or an exception to a point that is being made. According to the same rules, Parentheses can also be used to mark off that part of the sentence, which is not part of the main thought. Loaded statement or what? I feel validated already. Let me explain. Continue to stay with me here.
In today’s world of bubble-gum morals, pop-culture icons, political gymnasts and out-of-a-mould socialites, being straight-laced and straight forward is about as puritan and real as unicorns and sugar free chewing gums. Forget Warhol, Morrison, Hendrix and Mickey Mouse. Today’s pop-culture list of Icons reads differently. Its Beavis and Butthead, X-Men, Monica Lewinsky and Oprah. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Surreal Life, a la’ VH1. And in such times, living without Parenthesis is an improbability, because for every point being made, there lies an exception, and for every main thought, there lies an equally important tangent!
We live with Parentheses and inside those Parentheses. Parentheses of income groups and Parentheses of class. We live in Parentheses of ‘Invitees Only’, and Parentheses of grants and aids. We live in Parentheses of statistics and half-truths. And before you think, the simple, regular life is excluded, think again. A team loses a much anticipated game, the coach says, its ok, we’ll try again. In Parentheses though, he seems to say, Damn. Damn. Damn. A woman tells another woman, great outfit. What she really is saying in her Parentheses is, what were you thinking?!
Parentheses are like the fine print that somehow no one gets around to reading till its too late. Parentheses are also the new way-of-social-interaction. Their arms are laden with nuances, subtleties, ironies and sarcasm. A writer’s personality is captured in that little scoop of a Parenthesis. It is.
So, I refuse to give up the Parenthesis.
(Whew, that was close!) (Did I actually use the word ‘Whew’??)