Friday, May 26, 2017

126 Parallelism (English)

Home >> Grammar Style Guide >> Parallelism

Understanding Parallelism

Parallelism is a rule that governs various scenarios for ensuring a sentence is uniform in presentation. As an example, imagine we were running, flew over the Himalayas, and like to eat popcorn.
Similar to subject-verb agreement, Parallelism incorporates other parts of a sentence, such as in this case, a list or series.
When presenting a list or series of items, the best practices are to provide all the items in the same tense and voice. Providing one item in passive voice (for example, will be provided by me) and then an active voice (for example, I will provide) in the same sentence or paragraph may confuse a reader.
The first example should be recast in order to conform to the rules of Parallelism. For example, we were running, flying over the Himalayas, and eating popcorn. In this example, all three list items are parallel in grammatical structure.
The rules of subject-verb agreement fall under the umbrella of parallelism as well. If a subject is plural, then the verb that defines the action of the subject must be pluralized as well.
In some cases, a word can have the letter s after it in parentheses. This is used to allow for the possibility that a singular object may also be pluralized in the sentence provided. For example, if it were possible that there were more than one sentence provided, then the previous sentence would end as follows: “…more than one sentence(s) provided.”
In terms of the rules of parallelism, pluralization agreement extends beyond just the subject-verb relationship to any two objects of a sentence that correspond to each other in some way. For example, “I have a bunch of leash for the dog.” The missing pluralization to provide proper parallelism in the sentence leaves the reader confused on what exactly was intended to be pluralized and unclear what the subject actually has.
For style rules, common sense dictates that a sentence begin and end in the same font size and style unless the writer intended to stress a certain word or phrase in a sentence. For example, sending a text with the words in all capital letters may be interpreted as the writer was unconcerned with case; or all lowercase may imply the same conclusion. However, capitalizing a single word or two in the sentence of that same text with all other letters and words lowercase will be interpreted as a momentary shouting or emphasis of that word(s). Same can be said for increasing font size, changing color, changing the actual font face (such as Times New Roman) all have significant impact on the message being delivered.