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In Dutch, for example in a newspaper, when someone is quoted, the redaction might decide to explain something, or add more information. This would be done using the 'red.' abbreviation (for redaction). Like this:

"Karen was very sad when Rodger ( her dog, red.) died..."

Does such an abbreviation exist in English, and is this something that is actually done in English texts?

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Elephant trap for Europeans: in English a redactor is somebody who removes, eg, confidential information from a published text. – TimLymington Jan 26 '12 at 22:49
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In English, you would see such material in brackets, such as "Rodger [her dog] died..."

In some instances, you might see "Rodger [her dog --Ed.] died..." to make it plain that the editor added the explanation.

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+1 for having [square brackets] as well as Ed. I think it's often understood that square brackets indicate editorial revision - round ones might even be verbatim. – FumbleFingers Jan 26 '12 at 21:26
Just for clarity for the OP and others, it's distinctively square brackets -- aka "brackets" -- [], used for this purpose. You usually don't need any explanation to use them as such. Parentheses, -- aka round brackets -- (), are used in their regular way, for things parenthetical. – Dan Sheppard Aug 20 '15 at 18:32

I'm not familiar with a word English would apply here. Usually, text inserted by an editor is set apart with square brackets, while stylistic changes are explained parenthetically. Longer explanatory text may be "signed" by the editor as well to clarify that it is not the product of the original author.

So, for the example given, I would say

"Karen was very sad when [her dog] Rodger died …"

"Karen was very sad when Rodger died …" … (emphasis added)

"Karen was very sad when Rodger died …" Rodger was Karen's beloved dog– Ed.

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