Parenthesis: bull shark
The Grammar Bit!
The three sentences opposite all contain a parenthesis. A parenthesis (bold) is an additional piece of information added to a sentence. Brackets, dashes and commas can all be used to indicate parenthesis. Notice how these punctuation marks work in pairs and how the meaning of the sentence would remain unchanged if this additional information were to be removed.
Try to think of parenthesis as if the writer is whispering in your ear, “Here is a little bit of extra information. It’s not vital that you know it, but it is interesting.”
Read the sentences out loud with your partner. One of you read the main sentence and one of you be the parenthesis. Then swap over.
Now read each sentence out loud on your own. Do you notice how your voice changes slightly to include the extra information?
1) A bull shark, one of the few species of sharks known to be man-eaters, was caught on camera, miles from the ocean.
2) On closer inspection, this (unexpected arrival) turned out to be a bull shark!
3) When a shark expert – Dr. Michael Hyphus – states that the golf course has some new challenging members on its hands, golfers realise, quickly, that they need to give the bull sharks some respect.
Did you know?
Sharks do not have bones like you or me. Instead, their bodies are made of cartilaginous tissues – the same gristly stuff that your ears and nose tip are made of.