Category: ( ) who’s making these freaking rules

What is the Problem with Parenthesis?

I don’t totally get this. There seems to be some kind of ban on using ( ) I haven’t heard about (smile).

I have a degree in English from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham-Madison Campus, I’ve been reading novels all my life, and I’ve seen ( ) used time and again. In Anne Tyler books, I think her funniest, wittiest moments were done with the use of ( ). In stream of consciousness literature it’s essential to use ( ).

So why is it that I can’t seem to get one single story or novel past a copyeditor without being slammed for using ( )? I don’t do it often (bigger smile). I swear I don’t. I only do it when I want to insert something into the text that’s not related but what I think is important to the reader.

There seems to be this ban against ( ), because it slows the reader down. At least this is what I’ve been told by copyeditors in their twenties. I never object either. I’m nice that way. Unless it’s something that’s going to change my story completely I let them have at it with a huge smile on my face. After years of writing, this falls under the category of life is just too damn short.

But I can’t help wondering who started this rumor about ( ), and that we have to race through novels and if there’s a set of ( ) in the way it’s going to slow us down and ruin the entire book. I agree they shouldn’t be used too often, like adverbs and overusing the word that. But I have a feeling it’s the same person who thinks dialogue tags shouldn’t be used anymore and the reader should have to suffer through figuring out who is speaking from page one (huge smile).