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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

65
votes
10answers
4k views

“A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement

When a/an precedes a parenthetical aside (sometimes seen in informal/conversational writing), should the vowel rule depend on the first word in parentheses, or the next word in the "regular" flow of ...
8
votes
4answers
24k 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?
17
votes
3answers
6k views

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is ...
57
votes
8answers
6k views

Is it acceptable to nest parentheses?

Is it acceptable to nest parentheses (for example, if I (meaning myself) write like this)?
10
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
9
votes
4answers
29k views

Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses?

I know that when brackets enclose part of a sentence, the full stop goes outside. I tripped over this morning. I was distracted by a plane (which turned out to be Superman). If it's a full ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

When using complete sentences in parenthetical e.g. or i.e. situations, should the first word be capitalized?

In a bulleted list of very technical sentences, where each bulleted item has one or two parenthetical examples or restatements which are complete sentences, should the first letter of each e.g. or ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
14k views

How to deal with abbreviations like 'etc.' at the end of parentheses which are closing a sentence?

In Hungarian, when there's a dot both inside and outside parentheses at the end of a sentence, we write it as follows: Sok állatom van (kutya, macska stb.). (Meaning: I've got many animals ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the optional plural form of a word that ends in “‑y”?

I guess “optional plural” is the correct term. I’m referring to things like It can be found at the following location(s). Please pick up your ticket(s). But how do I do that to a word that ends ...
10
votes
3answers
13k views

Is there a grammatical rule for using “read” between parentheses? [closed]

As an example: I am bored (read: lazy). I wish to know if English Grammar has a formal construct for this usage.
4
votes
2answers
356 views

Changing plurality in parentheses

If a set of parentheses lies between a subject and its verb, and the parentheses contain an substitutive subject whose singularity/plurality disagrees with the original subject, whose ...
1
vote
1answer
478 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 ...
46
votes
14answers
3k views

If an insertion in parentheses ends with a smiley, how do I distinguish between the two?

I know smileys are not part of written language (yet), and any questions about them are irrelevant to linguistics and are kind of not serious. So take my question with a smiley then. It bugs me ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Exclamation mark before closing parenthesis [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses? Consider this: Even a fool gets to be young once (but not twice!). Do you understand? The ...
12
votes
7answers
10k 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?
5
votes
4answers
2k 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)." ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Multiple sentences inside parenthesis

I have read the few questions about punctuations in parenthesis, but I think none of them answers my question. I've looked at: Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses? In ...
8
votes
4answers
402 views

Should enclosing commas be treated as parentheses?

I just read the following in Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational, [...] Zoe, and the other kids to whom I offered the same deal, was completely blinded by [...] p. 57 To me it would have ...
2
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
688 views

Lowercase Letter in Brackets [duplicate]

Please look at the following sentence with the bracketed lowercase letter. “Doctor Rogers' thesis states that ‘[p]atients often display psychosomatic symptoms.’ ” Is the author decapitalizing the ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Using i.e. in parentheses

When a writer uses parentheses to define a phrase or clarify a word in a sentence, is it appropriate also to use i.e. in the parentheses? That use seems redundant to me.
12
votes
3answers
7k 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?
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Which would you place in parentheses: the expansion or the abbreviation? [closed]

When dealing with abbreviations, should you parenthesize the abbreviation or its expansion? I have seen it both ways. Can anyone make a good case for preferring one style over the other?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How to deal with irregular plural(s)?

What happens if you have a written phrase like We were looking at the same poster(s). but with a noun that has an irregular plural? E.g. with baby/babies, would this be the correct form? We ...
8
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
11k views

Singular or plural verb when pluralisation is used in parentheses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When a sentence uses an optional plural, should the rest of the sentence treat it as singular or plural? Which is correct? Buy an apple from the vendor(s) that are ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I correctly use the possessive apostrophe with a parenthetical citation?

Is the apostrophe in the right place in the following sentence? Pendleton, et al. (2002)’s research implies that extension of treatment allows for greater weight loss.
5
votes
3answers
11k views

Use of “e.g.” — are parentheses necessary?

Is it appropriate to use "e.g." in a sentence without using parentheses? This administrative access control should provide visibility into access via multiple vectors (e.g. group access rights ...
3
votes
1answer
296 views

Entire sentence in parentheses

I am formatting a new book for my company and ran into a problem. There is a sentence that reads: Before beginning, watch Part I in the DVD series, God & the History of Art. (If available as ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Continuing a sentence in a parenthesis and then starting a new one inside the same

Take a look at this meaning: By the way, I marked position 2854 (in the code. It's the slash). Is is correct to start a new sentence within a parenthesis like this? Or another, worse, example: ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Using correct indefinite article before (in-line) parentheses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement This is rather question of readability: Which article should be preferred? There is an (seemingly) easy ...
1
vote
3answers
21k views

Double parentheses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it acceptable to nest parentheses? Are you allowed to have parentheses within parentheses in English? Something like "(I did that because I wanted to (and the ...
1
vote
0answers
272 views

Should one use 'a' or 'an' when the following word is in parentheses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement This question is a little hard to summarize in the title. I sometimes like to use parentheses to add additional ...