This tag is concerned with the usage of the glyphs ( and ), known as parentheses (singular parenthesis) in American English and as brackets in British English.

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Parenthetical elements

Why is it acceptable sometimes for writers to enclose an independent clause--a clause which could stand by itself as its own sentence--in dashes and parentheses, yet this can't be done with commas? An ...
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7answers
16k views

What is the common name for brackets, braces, and parentheses?

I need to name a variable containing ()[]{}, what is the common name for all of them? Two side questions: parentheses is plural, or singular, or both? is abbreviating it as parens understandable?
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0answers
20 views

Using em-dash instead of parentheses and commas [duplicate]

Let's say I have the following sentence: "I didn't like the cake (the cookies were better), but I absolutely hated the egg rolls." Would it be grammatically correct (and colloquially okay, to someone ...
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0answers
75 views

Is there a name for this type of markup in writing?

In writing there are often little inline snippets to add to the meaning of the sentence - for example: There are many problems here, e.g. too fat; too stupid; smells bad. The elephant is a ...
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6answers
11k views

When to write the word “parenthetically”

I understand that if you're speaking a phrase in which you would write parentheses, you can say the word parenthetically. But when should you write the word parenthetically? I came across this ...
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0answers
32 views

Parenthetical prefix in a title: capitalize the word following the parenthetical?

For the title of a paper, I'm including a parenthetical prefix. Should the word that attached to the parenthetical be capitalized? For example, which of the following is correct? "The Migration of ...
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3answers
2k views

Should I use adjacent parentheses or a semicolon (or something else)?

In scientific writing it is common to use parentheses to refer to the details of statistical analyses at the end of a sentence. However, it is also common to refer to figures or tables this way. ...
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2answers
3k views

What should I do when two clauses that must be in parenthesis sit next to each other in my sentence?

I'm writing my thesis dissertation and in the results section I'm showing my results with this sentence: A small correlation between hit position and time was found for SS2 ($r=-0.143, ...
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2answers
70 views

Use of two sets of parentheses, side by side

I have a sentence that uses two sets of parentheses, side by side: Thank you for your letter of October 27, 2015 in which you outlined questions regarding the development of the new Pima Animal ...
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0answers
28 views

Dash or parentheses in bulleted list

I have the a bulleted list with one of the bullets having additional things listed within it: .....including: - Bulk purchase and distribution of essential coffee inputs to members - fertilizer, ...
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1answer
21 views

Parenthesis/Insertion after “or”

Is it valid in English to use a construction like: Fog consists of tiny water droplets or, rarely, ice crystals. If not, how can I elegantly solve this problem?
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0answers
44 views

Usage of a word in parenthesis to provide optional meaning

I've seen my boss writing stuff like: The use of (micro-)structures to study the behavior... and in this sentence, the word micro is meant to be optional to the meaning of the phrase. But I ...
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2answers
7k views

Where to put the periods when using a parenthetical sentence?

I have two complete sentences; the second is in parentheses, essentially a comment on the first. Where do I place the periods? I would use this: They played opera. (I covered my ears.) Is this ...
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1answer
30 views

What is the correct usage of the question mark when using a parenthesies

Is this the correct use of the question mark? Should it be at the end outside of the ). See example below How do we deliver it? (to the learner)
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3answers
572 views

(I'm not sure) how to capitalize this sentence

When a sentence begins with a parenthetical clause (uncommon, I'm sure), how should the following portion be capitalized? My thought is it would be either (In my opinion, at least[,]) the play was ...
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2answers
1k views

How to correctly capitalize words inside of brackets/parentheses in article names and book titles?

How do I correctly capitalize words inside of brackets/parentheses in names and titles? A few examples: Captain America (untold stories) Captain America (Untold Stories) Madonna (written ...
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2answers
239 views

Sequential (and nested) parenthetical sentences and phrases

According to MLA and APA, sequential parenthetical citations should be separated by a semi-colon, so: "John Avery and George Marshall both say that capitalism has existed in America since the ...
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6answers
19k views

Number agreement when using “(s)” for optional plural

I have a question about the following construction and which instance is correct. Selecting an appropriate study topic(s). Selecting appropriate study topic(s). When it is both singular ...
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0answers
21 views

Period usage when abbreviating at the end of a sentence [duplicate]

Regarding the following expression, we can realize that the period character is of dual functionality in its nature: partly denoting the abbreviation, partly being used to end the sentence. I like ...
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1answer
41 views

Capitalisation and parentheses

What is the general rule concerning capitalisation of a word in parentheses that immediately follows the first word of a sentence and acts a "clarifier" for this first word? In other words, the word ...
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4answers
375 views

What is the point of using Parentheses around only part of a word

I sometimes see parentheses around only part of a word. What does this mean? An example...Someone typed the phrase "mission (im)possible. I am unsure what the significance is of putting parentheses ...
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0answers
91 views

Using colon, list and parentheses

This is an interesting structure: it has a colon, it's a list, and it boasts parentheses too. But I have doubts about the structure; is the second sentence below grammatically right? Do you have ...
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4answers
240 views

“), or ,”) in the middle of a sentence? [duplicate]

I think commas are typically placed after closed parentheses and within quotation marks. This creates a dilemma when all three are used together. Example one: You may like snelms (or "snail helms,") ...
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2answers
6k views

When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
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1answer
40 views

Punctuation and parenthesis

Just saw this. Shouldn't it have the period (full-stop) after the parenthesis? Like the magazine? Take it with you. (Don’t worry, we’ll give the next passenger a new copy)
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4answers
50k views

In which cases is a comma/period placed inside or outside of parentheses?

Are there cases where a period is placed inside parentheses? In which cases the period (or a comma) should be placed inside the parentheses?
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4answers
11k views

What does an exclamation mark inside parentheses “(!)” mean?

What does an exclamation mark inside parentheses "(!)" mean? I saw this in a book review I was reading and I didn't understand what the use of it was. Can someone help me?
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2answers
146 views

Should I use double punctuation inside and outside parentheses? [duplicate]

Which one of the following sentences is correct (or more acceptable): Honor your creativity and write down anything that comes to mind (no matter how silly!). Honor your creativity and ...
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2answers
46 views

comma or parentheses?

I have another thorny little sentence: "The level is determined on the basis of the placement (community outpatient or STRP) and on the program’s assessment of the patient’s performance and risk." ...
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1answer
154 views

Manage abbreviations before parantheses at the end of a sentence

There are already topics very close to my question, but not quite there. Does anyone know what to do about this: We review our accounts p.a. (at the end of the year). Normally, without the text ...
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1answer
120 views

Can it be correct to have a bracket as its own sentence?

Is it correct English to have a sentence, and then a bracketed sentence as its own sentence? If you don't get what I mean, here's an example: The garden set on fire. (Even the fence set on fire). ...
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2answers
59 views

What rule prevents this usage of commas: “this research, see references [1] and [2], has shown some success”?

I am reviewing a journal paper and the authors constantly use sentences of the sort "this research, see references [1] and [2], has shown some success" It seems to me this is ungrammatical, and that ...
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4answers
3k views

How do I manage periods for abbreviations with parentheses, right before a period?

"In the case of medical diagnostics, there is a cost associated with each medical procedure that provides additional information (blood test, x-ray, etc.)." Should that end with "etc.).", "etc)." ...
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1answer
84 views

punctuating more than one sentence within em dashes and parentheses midsentence

I cannot recast the following sentence. Is it punctuated correctly, i.e., the ending period, midsentence, before the second em dash? The department's philosophy -- When in doubt, let them out. ...
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1answer
202 views

Parenthesis and apostrophes

If there is a noun, then parenthesis or a comma, where should a 's go? For example: The dog (who was very big)'s ears perked up. or The dog's (who was very big) ears perked up. or The ...
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5answers
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When a sentence uses an optional plural, should the rest of the sentence treat it as singular or plural?

Consider the following sentence: We assume that the individual(s) possesses some general knowledge of the rules of football. Is "possesses" correct there? Should it be "possess"? Is the rule ...
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1answer
116 views

Usage of Parenthetical Plural

I am trying to rewrite two sentences like the following into a single sentence using a parenthetical plural: 1: The rule will add an assertion. 2: The rule will add assertions. Combining ...
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1answer
165 views

Shortening a frequently used phrase in a paper

What is the correct term for referring to something as X throughout the remainder of a paper/article? For instance, I'm writing a mock memorandum to a client in a tax class I'm taking and I would like ...
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3answers
42 views

The use of a comma, bracket or nothing?

Firstly, as far as I am aware, 'unjustifiability' is not an actual English word. However, is it ok to use it within the contexts of a philosophy essay? The The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy on ...
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3answers
104 views

Capitalization with parentheses at the beginning of a slide bullet point

Which is correct for a bullet point in a slide presentation? (Continuous) Application deployment or (Continuous) application deployment This is not a title, but just a fragment ...
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3answers
85 views

Two periods required?

When a sentence ends with a parenthetical statement which itself ends with a period, does the sentence also need a period? Example: I love eating vegetables (carrots, peas, etc.). The two ...
0
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1answer
157 views

How to know when to use dashes or commas or braces when describing something in the middle of a sentence?

For example, you have a sentence like this: But let’s pluck a word at random from the vocabulary tree: lambaste. Let’s say whenever you encounter this word, the first four letters, l-a-m-b, ...
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3answers
190 views

Parentheses for alternatives in statement

I often come across a use of parentheses where the parentheses refer to an "alternative layer" of a statement. An example might be helpful here: "Hence, changes in employment that increase ...
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0answers
19 views

'A' or 'an' against optional (bracketed) part? [duplicate]

If I have a statement : "She provides a (easy) path to information," should I use a or an ? I know I could re-write the optional adjective to be something that starts with a consonant sound, i.e.? ...
3
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0answers
104 views

Are we taught to use parentheses in the wrong way and too often? [closed]

I'm finding a lot of questions and answers in general on SE are very liberal in using parenthesis to wrap secondary information within sentences which leads to broken flow and reduced readability. ...
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1answer
164 views

“A” or “an” with adjective in parenthesis [duplicate]

Which of the following two forms is correct? (And if there's no agreement about that, which one is more common?) a (optional) parameter an (optional) parameter The problem is that the choice ...
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1answer
1k views

Parentheses or quotations for English name (foreigner)? [closed]

My English name is Michael (my name is Minh, so Michael and Minh have some similarity). Should I put my name as: Minh "Michael" Nguyen or Minh (Michael) Nguyen (on a résumé, business card, email ...
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1answer
376 views

Showing possession when the noun is defined by a word in parentheses

Document Title: Plaintiff's Interrogatories to Defendant There are multiple plaintiffs. We typically define the plaintiff as, "Plaintiffs (Smith) want to object...etc." and this particular plaintiff ...
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3answers
7k views

(Parentheses (inside parentheses)) [duplicate]

As you saw in the title, parentheses inside parentheses don't look too good. But, gramatically speaking, is it correct to do this? For example: Go to this site (you should probably check it out, ...
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1answer
80 views

In my example, did I use brackets correctly?

I know the rules of this site state to only ask questions to get direct answers, but I'm hoping I could still get a little suggestion on what to do. I'm writing a research paper, so the context is ...