Okay, so confession. I like writing snarky little intros to all the headings more than I like actually doing the work of making new posts. This intro is just an example. I figure it’s safe confessing that here because (a) we’ll probably never have a serious essay that’s worth reading and (b) no one would gravitate toward the serious essays even if we did, so (c) I could write pretty much ANYTHING in this description and no one will be the wiser. TOM BRADY IS A LOSER. See? Nobody cares. No body knows. Except us. Let’s keep the secret.
You might almost say this is my confession portal. I could complain about the other author of the blog, say that that person’s attention to rigorous grammatical detail is a waste of time and energy, that punctuality is a virtue of the bored…etc. And the other other author (who shall, of course, remain unnamed so that you are kept in the dark ((ha ha ha–can you use a parenthesis INSIDE a parenthesis like you can with quotation marks?))) would never know. Now I would never say that. That’s just an example of something I could (hypothetically ((which, by the way, is hard to spell))) say.
Other author: You cannot use parentheses like that. That is what brackets are for. But we will leave it as is so that the readers (who will never read this) will be able to see that one of the authors of this blog delights in bad grammar and punctuation and clings stubbornly to it (although said author COULD improve in these areas upon trying), mainly, it would seem, in order to drive me insane . . . which is a lost cause.
Original author: But everyone uses brackets. If I did that, I’d be giving in to convention. I’d be predictable…and boring. As to driving you insane…that is completely unnecessary. Like double dipping…but different. So, until someone comments (telling you as they doubtless will ((because EVERYONe agrees with me (((you’ll see))), I will assume what I know what they’ll say. “Keep up the good work author one. You make grammar rules fun!”
Other author: I’m not sure who you think “EVERYONE” is (my personal opinion is that it is an unfinished phrase with implied modifiers and should be read “EVERYONE in the southeastern United States named Ethan MacDonald Talbert” [but that’s just my opinion]). What I do know is that I haven’t found any documentation that supports your assertion that double parentheses are an accepted practice of the English language. Quite the opposite. You will find the evidence here: evidence that I’m right (even though it’s obvious)
Original author: Who is this Ethan character you speak of? Sounds cool. Middle name sounds a little like a fast food joint though. I note the evidence. But it has one major flaw. What if you need to place TWO things in parentheses? Hmmm? Or what if you need to do it four times (hey, it happens((or potentially could)) there’s no knowing (((as there never really is ((((do we really KNOW anything?))))? And “Grammar Girl” is hardly the OED. Oh, and ABOUT that… “Quick and dirty tips?!” Excuse me, but we are trying to keep this website thing squeaky clean thank you very much. If I were not so determined not to reveal the authors of the website, I would say that Holli June Gibbs is out of line.
Other author: Of course, you would like Ethan.
And I note that anyone who writes in such a way that they would need four parentheses is (to put it bluntly) lacking in the most elementary writing skills. I thought that such a person would more easily understand a grammar lesson from the grammar girl, but apparently not. So I present to you the American Psychological Association’s compilation of rules regarding parentheses (Take special note of rule #1.): Proof that the original author is wrong (bless his [little] heart). If you disagree with them, well, the conclusion is obvious: you must be clinically insane, indubitably suffering from lack of exposure to parentheses in babyhood (an essential of early childhood development).
And Holli June Gibbs is not out of line, nor ever could be (even hypothetically speaking) since she doesn’t exist. Looks like someone is having a little trouble with his sources . . . .
Original author: First, I am not sure how I thought your middle name was “June”. My sources in the field can sometimes lead me astray.
Second, I note with grave unquiet that you still have no defense for linking our distinguished readers to a site called “quick and dirty tips”. I, for one, do not know what makes these tips dirty. Perhaps it is their advocacy against double and triple parentheses. Perhaps the authors obtained their information illegally. PERHAPS, they don’t take showers.
But then you give me a post from the Psychological Association? We are not discussing Sigmund Freud my friend. Is that not a bit like taking dating advice from a website called “100 Easy ways to cook”? But then, the cruellest cut of all–the insinuation that I have a small heart (I am the Grinch((at the end of the book (((you know, when his heart grows 5 sizes, or twelve sizes, or whatever it was?))). In debate, your methods are known as (pardon my Latin) an ad hominem attack (“to the man”). It is sad my friend to see you stoop to these deplorable tactics.
Other author: “Quick and dirty” is a colloquial expression and doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything actually dirty about the tips. It’s more like, “This is so quick and easy that the English professors of this world would never want you to know about it.” It is not “dirty” because of their advocacy of proper punctuation. If anything, that would be very, very clean . . . like a muddy dog that just got a bath and smells so much better.
APA is an accepted writing form and has little, if anything, to do with Freud. Its relevancy lies in its laying out of proper writing form. (And [by the way] dating is a lot like cooking. First, you have to decide what you’re going to cook [“I’m going to date so and so.”]. Then you pick a recipe [the plan for actually dating the person]. Follow the plan, and, hopefully, the french fries will turn out good. But, unfortunately, sometimes the french fries burn. And then you have to decide if you’re going to serve them anyway or throw them out. [I wouldn’t be surprised if the author of “100 Easy Ways to Cook” actually had dating in mind.])
I didn’t want to have to do this, but you’ve given me no choice. I’m breaking out the Turabian: Turabian speaks truth
The “bless his little heart” you are referring to is also a colloquial expression, generally used by southern women in their old age. It should not be taken literally to describe the actual size of a person’s heart. We leave that to the cardiologists. I think that, as such, it cannot really be ad hominem (The spell check wants to change “hominem” to “Eminem?!” What is this world coming to???) (but an expression used to convey the fact that I feel somewhat bad and embarrassed [for you] that I am right [after ample and ignored evidence], but it doesn’t change the fact that I am).
Also, I should probably point out that even IF parentheses inside parentheses were accepted practice, it would not look like this: “I like cheese (the cheddar kind ((you know what I’m talking about)) that’s yellowish orange).” It would look like this: “I like cheese (the cheddar kind (you know what I’m talking about) that’s yellowish orange).” Of course, it really ought to look like this: “I like cheese (the cheddar kind [you know what I’m talking about] that’s yellowish orange).”
Original author: So easy your English professors wouldn’t want you reading it? So, like, CHEATING??? Are we advocating cheating now? Badly done other author. Badly done.
It’s actually not that normal for southern women to bless “your little heart”. Bless your heart, yes. But little heart, no so much. And regardless, the insertion of “little” in brackets implies a second thought, a further twist of the knife as it were.
Turabian speaks truth (if you really want to write everything double spaced with top right and bottom margins set religiously to 1 inch ((not to mention Times New Roman 12 point font (((which, by the way, even Microsoft Word doesn’t set as standard font anymore))). Does anyone really want Turabian to rule the world?
I can see how cooking is like dating. In both cases you are trying to hack the life out of the subject, to dice it, butter it, salt it, put it in a non stick pan. In both dating and cooking you want to pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and then put the subject in for…oh, no. That’s not right. You sure this works?