My business partner often makes fun of me for my devotion to the parenthetical remark. (But I can’t stop! They’re just so fun to use.) After reading a recent article on slate.com entitled “The Case — Please Hear Me Out — Against the Em Dash” by Noreen Malone, it has become clear that if punctuation were in junior high, the em-dash would totally be the parenthetical’s best friend. You can just imagine them giggling as they offer hushed asides about cute boys, mean girls and stupid math teachers.
Sure, I agree with the writer’s point that modern prose — and modern life, for that matter — doesn’t need any more interruptions. Really, I do. But I think she is forgetting phentermine med that so much of life — especially if you are writing a corporate website about technology, say — is just so.darn.boring. In my opinion, em-dashes and parentheticals breathe a little life — a playful subversiveness — into our grammatically bland world of periods, commas and the snoozer of them all — semicolons!
Yes, they can be overused — how many interruptions can one writer stand? Yes, they can be a crutch — just write a clear, concise sentence already! But for now — sorry, Noreen — I’m going to keep using them. (And we are totally not sitting with you at lunch!)