I don’t have a ton to add to this great Grammar Girl post about parentheses vs. dashes vs. ellipses– (…?) only that I used to be profligate with parentheses and am not anymore, aside from emoticons which I should probably grow the hell up and stop using.
No, I like dashes now when I want to slam the brakes on a train of thought, throw another little one down, and then pick the first one back up. And only when I read GG’s article just now did I realize why I made the transition from quieter parentheses to loud, dramatic dashes…
Because that’s how my brain was changing. Thanks to the increasing role of the internet in my life twelve-odd years ago, interruptions became the rule of law in my brain–and as the linked article (which you should go read now) explains, dashes communicate interruption like a champ.
So I wonder as all our minds become ever more interrupted, will the parentheses survive? Will quiet, gentle interruptions become a thing of the analog past?