Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

A Parenthetical Writing

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 29, 2010

This parenthetical writing is a proof of concept designed to show how it is possible to sustain a paragraph using no punctuation other than parentheses (and apostrophes for contractions) and still have it be perfectly legible (to an extent (of course (because it is impossible to be perfectly legible when using parentheses (for we as a culture are not adjusted to using only parentheses for punctuation (and for good reason (it is impractical to write using only parentheses (but it is possible (as I intend to prove (although I should probably tell you what inspired this writing (I was thinking about imperative versus functional programming (and I realized that the English language is almost entirely imperative (it works as a list of statements or instructions (rather than a series of functions that call each other (but using parentheses it is possible to have language flow in a more functional way (with statements contained inside of each other instead of being written out in sequence (functional programming languages are generally considered to be better than imperative languages (so it seems as though functional speech would be considered to be better than imperative speech (but this theory must be wrong since this paragraph is so confusing to read (except maybe language is easier when written using more parentheses (it’s just that we are not used to seeing all these parentheses (and (of course) they have to be taken in moderation (and not piled on top of each other for such a ridiculously long time (like I’ve been doing (but there may actually be something to this idea of writing with more parentheses (but not this many (because at a point it’s just too much)))))))))))))))))))))))))).

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4 Responses to “A Parenthetical Writing”

  1. Bill said

    (is (that awesome))

  2. LRFLEW said

    Very interesting Idea. First, it feels that there wasn’t enough order of when a parentheses is used. It felt like you just created an inner-parenthases when you started a new sentence instead of actually separating sub-information which would have made it make more sense. Second, It isn’t useful to write this way as sentences have breaks that represent a though. You can easily pause and start back up at a beginning of a sentence, whereas your paragraph up there requires uninterrupted concentration to understand.

    Otherwise, I like the concept. I have always wondered why english is like:
    [ADJ] [NOUN] [ADV] [VERB {PRETERITE}
    and programing like:
    FUNCTION (OPERANDS) { COMMANDS }
    🙂

    • I’m not sure what you mean about there not being enough order. (Can you give an example of what you would consider to be an ordered sentence?)

      Of course, I’m not suggesting that people write the way I did (I was exaggerating quite a lot (I don’t think we should dispose of all other punctuation (other punctuation marks are useful too))). I was merely illustrating that it’s possible to use parentheses in a much broader way than they are currently used (and using them more often may actually increase the clarity and elegance of written language).

  3. phynnboi said

    I read somewhere that you’re supposed to cycle through various bracketing forms in writing just as in mathematical formulas (so you might [were you inclined {and even were you not}] want to do it like this [it’ll be somewhat easier to read {assuming you care (well, technically, regardless of whether you care)}]).

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