Most wit is parenthetical.

Rule #6 in the humourous list “How to Write Good” (via) is “Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.”

If that really is the case, I don’t write good. I can’t help myself: I love a good parenthetical remark. I like to pepper my writing with them. (I just broke rule #3. And now I’ve broken #6 again, but not with wit. Or is it?)

Most wit is parenthetical, is it not?

Rule #7 goes on to say, “Parenthetical words however must be enclosed in commas.” Is a word parenthetical if it isn’t between parentheses? If it is, why is a parenthetical remark acceptable when it is between commas but not between parenthesis? And what of the dash? (Let me throw in a parenthetical remark here to explain of what I speak: (parenthetical remark) vs. , parenthetical remark, vs. —parenthetical remark—.)

I believe the dash is generally used for interjections rather than parenthetical asides, but one is still remarking parenthetically when one uses the dash.