Limitations of Parallelism

The parallel style handles ideas better than do the segregating or freight-train sentences. However, it suits only ideas that are logically parallel: several effects of the same cause, for instance, or three or four conditions of a single effect. When writers try to force parallelism onto ideas that are not logically parallel, they obscure rather than clarify meaning.

A second disadvantage of the parallel style is that it seems a bit formal for modern taste. And a third is that parallelism can be wordy rather than economical if writers allow the style to dominate them, padding out ideas to make a parallel sentence, instead of making a parallel sentence to organize ideas.

Yet despite these limitations parallelism remains an important resource of sentence style, one which many people neglect. It is a most effective way of ordering perceptions or ideas or feelings, of shaping a sentence, and of attaining economy and emphasis.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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