Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Outliers and Parallelism

Sometimes we tout parallelism with the same misguided religious fervor with which we persecute any use of the passive voice. For example, I am not the least bit bothered by the lack of parallelism in the following menu (nouns and verbs mixed):

That having been said, it is a pretty powerful force. And sometimes we must choose between being parallel and some other good rule of rhetoric.

Two examples that vex me periodically:

  • Tables where all of the cells in a column have multiple entries except one. I want to use bulleted lists to make the multiple entries more readable. Do you  bullet the lone item in the one odd cell? I do.
  • Grouping fields on a form where inevitably there is one field that accounts for an entire function and doesn't go with the others. Do you fence in the one lone field with a grouping box or leave it out there as a free range field? I fence it in.

Am I being overly zealous in my desire to have parallel treatments? Are there other examples that vex you? Chime in.

1 comment:

Larry said...

I'd do the same thing, Mike. I'd call it a desire to organize things rather than a zeal for parallelism....Although maybe those are just two ways of saying the same thing.