Faulty Parallelism

In literature, the term ‘parallelism’ is used to refer to the practice placing together similarly structure related phrases, words or clauses. Parallelism involves placing sentence items in a parallel grammatical format wherein nouns are listed together, specific verb forms are listed together and the like. When one fails to follow this parallel structure, it results in faulty parallelism. The failure to maintain a balance in grammatical forms is known as faulty parallelism wherein similar grammatical forms receive dissimilar or unequal weight.

On the TV show The Simpsons, lead character Bart Simpson says, “they are laughing, not with me”.

7 thoughts on “Faulty Parallelism”

  1. could this work

    I am malala:
    If you don’t raise your voice, it is unlikely anyone will hear you

    if not then what is it?

  2. Is this an example?
    “According to Miss Stephanie Crawford, however, Atticus was leaving the post office when Mr. Ewell approached him, cursed him, spat on him, and threatened to kill him.”

    1. feminine parallelism (extrapolated from the term “feminine rhyme”). It’s like parallelism slightly askew. semantically, verb phrases such as “spat on” and “threatened to kill” are the same as verbs because the phrase could be replaced by a single verb, provided the word exists in the language used. the action verbs’ tenses are parallel, which is what is most important to the parallelism of verbs in a series.

  3. Faulty Parallelism

    My favorite example comes from an old song from the Brooklyn Bridge: “If he really loves you more than me, maybe (your getting married) is the best thing for you, but it’s the worst that could happen to me.”

    If you follow the pronouns as correctly parallel, the man is singing, “If that guy loves you more than he loves me, then it’s better for you if he marries you.”

    Which gives a whole new meaning to the song, no?

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