"what's the song "pretty fly for a white guy" all about?
pretty fly means cool. it's a slang expression they use in the black parts of big cities, very urban. the kids use it, and [the song] is about a kid that tries to mingle with them. he wants to be one of the cool gangsters and it just doesn't work out. he makes a complete fool out of himself, a complete dork, but that's just a metaphor. it's about wannabes, guys who want to be so cool. "
Hello. I don't know if the highlighted paranthesis has a specific name, so I'll call it paranthesis.
I keep seeing this kind of paranthesis being used in written English a lot of times. Could anyone tell me why this is used? My guess is that this text is from an interview of some sort (and so are the texts in which this type of paranthesis is used) and the person being interviewed used a determiner (apparently, "it") but in order for the sentence to be clearer, they used "the song" instead. I'm probably wrong, but I still would like to know when this is used, and for what reason. Thanks in advance
Yep, you're exactly right. They're called "brackets" and they're used to insert editorial comment, or to elucidate or paraphrase within a quotation. They signal that what is within the brackets is not exactly what was said.
I know you often have to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt, but this entry explains it pretty well. Scroll down to "square brackets."