This part of the diploma paper is concerned with the functioning of different parenthetical types in publicist style. The examples were collected by means of running selection from Newsweek, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The BBC News. Some of the articles under analysis are presented in the Appendix.
Before proceeding with the analysis of the Parenthetical functioning in the context of different articles, it is worth presenting the scheme according to which characteristics will be identified.
Firstly, the semantic characteristics should be given, so the semantic group should be defined:
- Personal or other people’s opinion;
Cause / Reason;
Secondly, structural characteristics must be mentioned. As regards syntax, the syntactical structure (word, phrase, clause, sentence) of Parenthesis and punctuation will be examined. As regards morphology, the means of expressing Parenthesis (conjunct, modal word, commenting/ viewpoint adverb, infinitival clause, participial clause, clause) will be under investigation.
The first article (see Appendix) Twilight ‘Beats Newcomers at Box Office’ includes a number of Parentheses and Parenthetical constructions.
Hollywood’s five-day Thanksgiving sales period — considered crucial to generating momentum through Christmas — was not as bountiful as studio officials had hoped. In this sentence the Parenthesis ‘considered crucial to generating momentum through Christmas’ is presented as a clause and functions as interruption of main idea, it illustrates author’s comment and attitude to the event described in the main clause. Parenthesis is used in the middle of the sentence and is marked out with dashes.
The following three sentences present Parenthesis as additional adjustment. In the brackets the names of cinema companies (Summit Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Brothers) function as supplemental information which indicates the producer of the exact film. They are given just after the name of film in the middle of the sentence.
- The No. 1 movie was a holdover: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” (Summit Entertainment) took in an estimated $62.3 million during the long weekend for a two-week total of $221.3 million.
- Among new releases “The Muppets” (Walt Disney Studios) was the top performer, placing second over all with estimated ticket sales of $42 million.
- The dancing penguins of “Happy Feet Two” (Warner Brothers) were third, taking in about $18.4 million for a disappointing two-week total of nearly $44 million.
The next sentence include at once two Parentheses. The one is “The Polar Express” (2004) and “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” (2009). It acts as example and explanation to the main clause and is isolated with dashes from it. Another one is the variant of Parenthesis specifying additional information. In the brackets added years (2004, 2009) when the films were produced. They follow after the subject they belong to.
Sony compared its well-reviewed “Arthur Christmas” with two movies that were initially considered bombs — “The Polar Express” (2004) and “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” (2009) — but ended their domestic runs with less dismal totals.
The Parenthesis given in the next case stands apart as separate sentence in the brackets. Here it functions as additional background information. The Parenthesis exemplifies some movie for comparison.
It also received outstanding reviews and managed to keep pace despite playing in only 1,277 theaters. (“Happy Feet Two,” by comparison, was booked into 3,611 locations.)
The Parenthesis in the following sentence can be considered both as Parenthesis and as non-restrictive Apposition. It explains the occupation of the person Sheila DeLoach, enters new information. It is presented in the middle of the sentence and is marked out with commas.
Sheila DeLoach, Searchlight’s executive vice president for distribution, said the studio was “extremely encouraged” to see the film do well in suburban theaters.
In the second article College Students Replace Poverty with Creativity some other types of Parenthesis are shown.
The ensuing sentence gives the example of Parenthesis, which also can be non-restrictive Apposition. It presents the supplement data who is Mr. Malyshev. Besides, there is Parenthesis in Parenthesis, as the clause ‘where yearly tuition runs $51,000 with room and board’ illustrates complementary description of Boston, which introduces urgent information for that case.
“I did not want to ask my parents for more money,” said Ms. Malyshev, a sophomore at Northeastern in Boston, where yearly tuition runs $51,000 with room and board.
Parenthesis stands in the end of the sentence and is isolated by comma.
The following case introduces Parenthesis as background comment on the situation. It is given in the brackets as separate sentence and presented as direct speech.
“From now on, I plan to stick to psychological testing,” she said, referring to the roughly $20 an hour she often makes filling out university research questionnaires. (“Harvard pays the best in the Boston area,” she added.)
In the next case a couple of Parentheses are worth paying attention. Firstly, it is the parenthetical phrase ‘the generation facing the dual misery of unprecedented tuition levels and grim employment prospects after graduation’. Here the supplemental intelligence about college student is provided. It is used in the middle of the sentence and is marked out with commas.
But college students, the generation facing the dual misery of unprecedented tuition levels and grim employment prospects after graduation, are feeling a special sting. As a result, penny-pinching and creative cash accumulation are becoming something like campus sports.
Secondly, here another Parenthesis ‘as a result’ is presented. According to the semantic characteristics, it can belong to sequence or resultant type. It denotes sequence as the succession of events is presented in the context and it emphasizes the result as the consequence is shown. This Parenthesis stands in the initial position in the sentence, isolated by comma, and it is presented as nominal phrase.
In the sentence ‘When he was a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, he joined a community service club that held its annual meeting during spring break’ the Parenthesis is presented by the name of the city (Reno). It explains the location of the university, naming the city it belongs to. The Parenthesis stands in the middle of the sentence, marked out with commas and denoted by single word.
The Parenthesis ‘so’ in the following example marks the result. It is presented by summative conjunct, which stands in the middle of the sentence and isolated by comma.
“Our club had several sponsors, so we ended up paying just $20 each for a three-day weekend in a four-star hotel,” he said.
The next sentence includes the Parenthesis giving additional information about internet resource solving students’ problems. It is used in the end of the sentence and presented as separate sentence in brackets.
Mr. Dasko said his Web site gets between 1,000 and 2,000 hits a day, many of them from students asking about online jobs, like tutoring (for that, he recommends studentoffortune.com).
The sentence ‘According to Martin Dasko, 24, the founder of Studenomics, a Web site he started as a senior at Ryerson University in Toronto, there is no reason students should not be able to save money in college’ includes complicated Parenthetical construction that consists of Detachment (According to Martin Dasko) and two Parentheses: the first one is ‘24’, and the second one is ‘the founder of Studenomics.com’. The last one can also function as Apposition. In this case every component of the Parenthesis gives additional information. The detachment shows the source of information; the Apposition adds the data of age and achievement of the person.
The third article Last minute Christmas: cake kits also include a number of Parentheses.
The sentence ‘Personally, I’m fond of both in small amounts’ involves the Parenthesis ‘personally’ which stands in the initial position of the sentence. It is presented by viewpoint adverb indicating author’s own opinion.
In the following sentence the Parenthesis ‘yet more faff at the busiest time of the year’ displays the author’s explanation of the time and events expressed in the main clause. Here Parenthesis is used in the end of the sentence and marked out with a dash.
But it does highlight the problem with making a Christmas cake – yet more faff at the busiest time of the year.
The sentence ‘Except, you have to buy, erm, eggs, butter, lemons, and in most cases marzipan and icing – some would question whether it was worth buying a kit at all’ represents two cases of its usage. First Parenthesis ‘except’ stands in the initial position and separated with comma. This Parenthesis is presented by additive conjunct. According to the semantic characteristics, it belongs to the group of reinforcement as makes the listener or reader pay attention to the following information.
The next sentence includes the Parenthesis ‘whose baking knowledge knows no bounds’. It stands in the end of the sentence and isolated by a dash. It is expressed by the clause which functions as author’s background comment and explanation to abilities of Mary Berry.
Tesco’s comes courtesy of Mary Berry – whose baking knowledge knows no bounds.
In the following sentence two Parentheses can be observed. At the beginning of the sentence Parenthesis ‘of course’ is used separated by comma from the rest of the sentence. It belongs to the semantic group of reinforcement as it intensifies the intelligence given next. In the end of the sentence in brackets another Parenthesis is given. It functions as background supplementary information.
Of course, it’s officially a bit late to be making your cake now, but there are tricks to help those intent on baking at the eleventh hour (any tips you’ve gleaned over the years are welcome).
In the middle of the sentence ‘Delia offers a last minute sherry mincemeat cake recipe that can be made on the day itself (if you don’t have enough to do already) or try making a lighter version, as the Cottage Smallholder suggests’ the Parenthesis presented as isolated by brackets clause. It is used as author’s interrupting the main idea background comment, expressing his attitude to the events.
In the fourth article ‘How do I: Secure my home wi-fi network?’ several usages of the Parenthesis are applied.
In the next sentence detachment ‘According to an “ethical hacking” study carried out by a card-protection company’ functions as the Parenthesis. It is used at the beginning of the sentence and marked out with comma. It adds the source of in information in the main clause.
According to an “ethical hacking” study carried out by a card-protection company, nearly half of Britain’s home wi-fi networks can be hacked in less than five seconds, leaving the hacker free to hijack emails, steal bank account details and commit fraud.
The sentence ‘Unfortunately, until recently the majority of routers were shipped with encryption disabled or only installed with WEP, an out-of-date encryption format’ shows the usage of the Parenthesis, expressed by a viewpoint adverb. It denotes attitude to what will be said next. This Parenthesis stands at the beginning of the sentence and is separated by comma.
The following two sentences include Parentheses isolated by brackets and given in the end of the sentence. They illustrate supplementary information.
(1) To do this you need to connect your router to your PC with a LAN cable (from £5.99 at maplin.co.uk).
(2) Then simply open your PC’s web browser and enter your IP address (normally found on the back of the router).
The sentence ‘The interface will vary depending on the model of your router (see manufacturers’ websites for more details) but if your computer is up to date – Windows XP or later – select the WPA or WPA2 form of encryption and create your own unique password of at least 14 letters and numbers’ shows the usage of two Parentheses. Both are inserted in the middle of the sentence. The first one taken into the brackets acts as a comment and an advice on the information in the main clause. The second one isolated by dashes functions as more accurate definition to the subject.
In the next sentence the Parenthesis presented in brackets gives the complementary data of the internet source. It stands in the end of the sentence.
A good free download is Zone Labs’ Zone Alarm, which is reliable and free to download.
In the fifth article ‘Haemophilia gene therapy shows early success’ several Parentheses are presented.
In the sentence the detachment ‘according to an early study in the UK and the US’ functions as the Parenthesis. It is used in the end of the sentence and marked out with comma. It adds the source of in information in the main clause. Just one injection could be enough to mean people with hemophilia B no longer need medication, according to an early study in the UK and the US.
The sentence below illustrates the use of the Parenthesis, expressing author’s comment on the facts. It indicates his opinion and attitude. The Parenthesis stands at the beginning of the sentence and isolated by comma.
Normally, patients will have factor IX levels less than 1% of those found in people without hemophilia.
The next sentence demonstrates complementary information about person (Carl Walker), shows his parentage and age. It is used in the middle of the sentence and divided by commas.
Carl Walker, aged 26 and from Berkshire, showed the greatest improvement. He said: “I have not needed any of my normal treatment, either preventative or on-demand as a result of an injury.
In the sentence ‘All the patients have actually benefited from this gene transfer approach, even the patients who have not been able to stop protein concentrate infusion [normal therapy]’ the Parenthesis [normal therapy] used as definition to the scientific term. It stands in the end of the sentence, taken in brackets.
The sentence below includes two Parentheses. The Parenthesis [factor IX production] presents in brackets the scientific term, functioning as supplement to the main clause. Another Parenthesis ‘so’ in the following example marks the result. It is presented by summative conjunct, which stands in the middle of the sentence and isolated by comma.
“This is the first study that has shown that you can actually achieve stable, long-term, therapeutic level of expression [factor IX production] in subjects with severe hemophilia B, so it’s a fantastic start.
In the sentence ‘However, we hope that this research will eventually result in the removal of the need for regular injections and significantly reduce painful bleeds and debilitating joint damage for those living with hemophilia’ there is the Parenthesis in initial position, marked out by comma. It is presented by concessive conjunct. It fills the sentence with the sense of the concession.
The next sentences include the Parentheses which explain the information in the main clause, in particular, give data which defines more precisely the subjects. They stand in the middle of the sentences and are marked out by commas.
Dr Katherine Ponder, from the Washington University School of Medicine, said this was “truly a landmark study, since it is the first to achieve long-term expression of a blood protein at therapeutically relevant levels”.
Infinitival and adverbial parentheses tend to occupy the initial position in the sentence and are generally separated by commas.
Perhaps more crucially, he reached out and made a strategic accommodation with many Sunni groups that had once fought US troops. To put it bluntly, he talked to our enemies [Newsweek].
To make matters worse, in many places local officials and construction bosses took cuts of construction money for themselves, leaving even less cash for proper building [Newsweek].
Adverbs functioning as parenthesis are often used in the mid-sentence position, and are usually separated by commas, unless followed by the infinitive.
The Republican electorate is tired of boring and prudent respectability. The Republican establishment, presumably, is decidedly not tired of those things, especially since respectability often equates to electability [Newsweek].
Bachmann has also called a news conference for later Wednesday morning, presumably to announce her departure from the race [Newsweek].
But the politicians insisted, bewilderingly, that, on the one hand, we had enough helicopters and, on the other hand, every effort to get the extra helicopters we didn’t need out to Afghanistan was being made [Newsweek]
Sarkozy has yet to declare his widely expected bid for re-election, instead launching controversial new reforms, ostensibly to draw attention from his poor record, while Hollande has yet to release his presidential platform [Newsweek].
The results of the research that was conducted reveal the abundant use of parenthetical clauses in publicistic style. These are usually separated by dashes and supply additional information which has bearing on the message conveyed or topic discussed.
But once the coveted rating seemed lost – pundits as early as November pointed to record interest-rate spreads with Germany to claim France’s golden rating was effectively already gone- its importance was suddenly, dramatically downplayed [Newsweek].