… I steal them from others:
dependant clauses are offset with commas, and the break in the sentence they afford is read as a slight pause. An ellipsis is a delayed, intentional pause. (It’s also used for to denote editing, but that’s another story.).
Parentheses are for a parenthetical thought, i.e., a thought within a thought or an explanation. In your sentence, you as the narrator stepped out from the narrative to parenthetically denote that you call pauses “brainfarts.”
The long dash, or em dash (–), is used to offset a particular clause from the rest of the sentence. It is a sharper break than a comma, and not necessarily a pause, as an ellipsis is.
1. Ellipsis – I waited for the dog to crap…then waited…then waited some more.
2. Parentheses – I took the dog outside (for it was a beautiful day) and waited for him to crap.
3. Comma – I waited for the dog to crap, but he simply refused to do it.
4. Em dash – I let the dog crap on my neighbor’s lawn–never my own.
Please be sure to return your exams at the end of the hour.