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 Revolutionary War (18; 365)."

But I cannot find what do with with sequential parenthetical phrases and sentences outside of that context. Which of the following examples is correct?

(1) The film ...Et mourir de plaisir (Le sang et la rose) (English:...To die with pleasure [The blood and the rose]) (1960) is a French classic adapted from JS Le Fanu's Carmilla.

(2) The film ...Et mourir de plaisir (Le sang et la rose; English:...To die with pleasure [The blood and the rose]; 1960) is a French classic adapted from JS Le Fanu's Carmilla.

PS: Am I properly nesting parentheses above?


In this instance, the name of the film contains words in brackets: it's ...Et mourir de plaisir (Le sang et la rose). Even the ellipsis is part of the title.

Those parenthetical words shouldn't be subsumed into the reference, because they are part of the title and belong with the first four words. Thus your second example is wrong.

However, it would certainly be possible to put the 1960 in the reference, with a semicolon. I would prefer to set the title in italics to make absolutely clear what is the title and what is the translation. There are too many similar brackets otherwise.

The film ...Et mourir de plaisir (Le sang et la rose) (English: ...To die with pleasure (The blood and the rose); 1960) is a French classic ...

Note that the usual English title for this film is Blood and Roses, which solves a number of problems.

  • I appreciate your answer. I think I like the idea behind it, but I also must say that italicizing "...Et mourir de plaisir..." is wrong. The rules that govern italicization require that both words in a foreign language and those of feature-length-film titles be italicized--in the case of their simultaneity, the italicization rules "cancel each other out" and the words are written without italics. – LaBarrister Jan 12 '15 at 21:29
  • No, that's not correct. Even foreign titles are set in italics. A word might be set in roman within a whole sentence set in italics, but (depending on your style guide, I suppose) titles are always set in italics, whether foreign or not. – Andrew Leach Jan 12 '15 at 22:18
  • When you are supposed to italicize words that are already in italics, the two italics cancel each other out. That's logical. What you propose is confusing and ambivalent. – LaBarrister Jan 14 '15 at 22:12
  • But they're not "already in italics". It's a foreign title. If anything the italics reinforce. Anyway, the end result is important: without italics, there's not enough differentiation. But you already seem to have decided what you want to do. – Andrew Leach Jan 15 '15 at 6:49
  • 1
    Am I arguing that foreign words are italicised, and film titles are italicised. If it's a native film title which is in italics, it should be obvious that it's not a foreign word (and vice-versa). The fact that two rules both apply doesn't mean that they cancel each other out. This conversation should probably go to chat. – Andrew Leach Jan 16 '15 at 16:37

The second option seems best. The parentheses are still where they would be if the part in brackets weren't there.

  • Fundamentally, you're on the side one applies the citation rule in out-of-citation contexts. Regardless, could you share any supporting source(s), either instructional or exemplary? – LaBarrister Dec 12 '14 at 22:09

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