From Shady Characters


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2 comments on “Licensing

  1. Comment posted by MJ Halberstadt on

    Hey Keith – I loved the book and have gifted copies to several friends who, in turn, have loved it themselves! It has been especially stimulating to me as a playwright who sometimes enjoys futzing around with punctuation marks in ways that are grammatically incorrect but help reach a greater sense of truth. I’m also beginning to write a romantic comedy about a copywriter and copy editor ; the working title is “Misuse of Apostrophe’s”. Anyway, my question for you is about parentheses. In your research, have you happened to find individual names for a “(” and “)”? Or are they simply an “open parenthesis” and “closed parenthesis” respectively? Many thanks! Hope you are well,

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi MJ,

      My understanding is that these — “()” — are most often called parentheses, though in the UK we sometimes call them brackets instead. Personally, I’d call them opening and closing parentheses. These — “[]” — are square brackets and these — “{}” — are braces, but I’d think you could mix and match the naming as you saw fit and that any reasonably literate audience member would understand what you mean.

      I think you’re entirely within your rights to mess around with punctuation! There’s no correct or incorrect way to use it, only conventional and unconventional. In the context of a play there must be a huge amount of scope for subtlety when it comes to pauses, inflection and so on — maybe you should start throwing in an interrobang or two!

      Thanks for the comment!

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