1

I've noticed some authors of academic pieces tend to put square brackets around a T when starting a quote, I don't understand why.

"[T]he Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members."

Thanks!

2

This is because the original quote had a lower case "the" rather than "The".

Square brackets are used around words that are not part of the original quote - that is, words that have been inserted or, as in this instance, modified to correct the case.

This typically occurs when the quote needs to adapted slightly to match the grammatical context in which it is placed, e.g. change of tense.

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  • 1
    This is a good, straightforward account of how the "[T]" in quotations like the one the OP asks about works. The choice of that particular example is unfortunate, however, since the wording comes from Article 2(1) of the UN Charter, which reads in full, "1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members." A person quoting that provision would seem to have no reason for starting with "[T]he Organization ..." instead of "The Organization..." – Sven Yargs Nov 21 '17 at 2:47
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    @Sven Yargs you're assuming that the quote is taken directly from there, and not from a subsequent version in reported form, say. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 21 '17 at 12:13

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