It's unbelievably hard to find relevant information online, as almost every Google search just gives pages of advice and questions regarding citations and referencing styles.

If I use a footnote in place of information I would normally enclose with parentheses, should my footnote body text be enclosed with parentheses? e.g.,

The (entirely subject-to-change) plan is to ...

If I wanted to move that piece of parenthesis into a footnote for whatever purpose, is the following footnote correct?

  1. (entirely subject-to-change)

If I shouldn't be using the parentheses, then what should that footnote look like?

  • 1
    I would say the parantheses and footnote are serving the same purpose in this usage — to provide additional, secondary information. As such, I wouldn't see the need to use parantheses in the footnote Nov 30, 2013 at 15:29
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about writing (presentation) style, not about English language and usage
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 1, 2013 at 20:21

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't use parentheses in the footnote, as the footnote itself is functionally analogous to the parentheses you were first trying to eliminate. Simply:

  1. Entirely subject to change

There are no hyphens because, as George Stirling pointed out in his answer, the footnote is supplementary to the "plan" its referring to.

I also wouldn't write such a short footnote with so little information in it. Maybe you could beef it up?

  • Thanks for your thoughts. I also wouldn't write such a short footnote - it was merely an example. The hyphenation wasn't really a concern either. However, should the footnote as you have it end with a full stop? Nov 30, 2013 at 18:46

Assuming you'll be placing your footnote marker after 'plan', it would be more correct to omit the hyphens in the footnote.

  • I hope you don't mind that I've edited my post because of your observation.
    – Dodgie
    Nov 30, 2013 at 18:29

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.