I'm writing a paper that includes a reference to the University of North Georgia. The first time I mention this university, I'd like to add a qualifier stating its commonly-used acronym "UNG" that I intend to use later in the paper, in place of the fully spelled-out version. But there's something else I'd like to add parenthetically on the first mention of the university – the fact that it used to be called "Gainesville State College."

I'm not sure how to correctly add these two parenthetical qualifiers on the first mention. Should I include both in the same set of parentheses so that it reads something like, "....enrolled at the University of North Georgia (formerly known as Gainesville State College and hereafter referred to as UNG)..."? Or use two sets of parentheses? Or do something completely different?

  • 1
    If you run into a gray area with an example like this, you probably need to rewrite entirely. Put yourself in place of a naive reader unfamiliar with your context, and try again. In this case, the subject enrolled at only one place, and it had a name at the time. "[He] enrolled at the Gainesville State College, currently known as the University of North Georgia (UNG)". Someone can't enroll at a college that doesn't yet exist. – jimm101 Sep 26 '18 at 21:34

You could probably get away with saying (UNG, formerly Gainesville State College), but honestly I would try to rephrase the sentence/paragraph so that you don't have to mention both those things in the same parenthetical.

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