Occasionally, in classes (where someone must read aloud text which we all have a copy of), I’ll notice (at points the reader will skip chunks of text that are surrounded by parentheses). I understand (in certain situations, the text between these characters are truly unneeded for reading purposes, like when formatting a paper where there’s something like “p. 36” after a quote or something). This is strange (in circumstances where the text DOES add something to the overall meaning of the writing.) Why do we skip it? (Sure, if we’re not fond of reading or simply pressed for time, we’ll use any excuse to finish all the faster, yet I find myself wondering “Do people do this on a regular basis? Do they only skip these parts when they read aloud or when they read to themselves as well?”, but the questions go unanswered.) Parentheses can add emphasis (especially to plain text, where tone and inflection is hard to interpret. You may notice that you see things in parentheses as quieter, or in a removed sort of “voice”).
So, if you entirely skip the parenthesized statements in any work, you’ll usually still get the overall meaning, but miss the statements that add more flavor (or more humor).
Let Skipping Things In Parentheses Die
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