What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes?
This question is born of practical necessity - one that I encountered while quoting a reference in "another" Stack Exchange property's "comment field". Due to space limitations, I had wanted to "paraphrase" the following line..
This is why Git will only let you checkout another branch if everything is checked in – there are no uncommitted modified files.
This is why all changes must be committed before switching branches.
This did allow my post fit nicely - into the properly dignified amount of allowed characters - but left me with only two spaces to spare. With those two, I reluctantly surrounded my mini-edit in
( ) (parenthesis). This is fine, and all... but as the change was mid-quote, and mid-paragraph, there was no obvious way to clarify that this parenthetical portion was NOT as the credited author had intended - but was instead MY little handiwork.
A quick glance about found a dearth of good suggestions on how best to propery attribute - or even indicate - occurances of such paraphrasing, short of some kind of annotated bibliography, etc. What is the correct way to do this (syntactically, via a symbol, or with punctuation, etc.), especially in the context of modern / informal / electronic communications?