I've searched. Other questions appear to mostly deal with nesting and punctuation positioning. This one does not at its core. I will stress again, due to multiple dupe flags.. This question is NOT about punctuation and parentheses.


... an increase of a thingamabob (after squeezing out all the water.) (By the way: I posted this stuff online.)

So question...

Primary question -- Is it good form (best practice) to allow a parenthesized sentence to be followed by another parenthesized sentence?

The closing then opening parenthesis next to each other looks odd to me, as if copy should be adjusted to remove one of the parenthesized segments.

Of note, this is not "legal" copy. So, while some use of parenthesis can be adjusted/forgiven for legal documentation, that wouldn't apply here.

This question is not about punctuation. However, I feel strongly that the period before the fist closing parentheses should be after the parentheses, not before. I was seeking confirmation regarding that matter. The original section regarding this punctuation was merely a passing thought while I posted the question. As users skimmed the question, they got there, stopped and flagged as duplicate or downvoted. It was not the catalyst to posting the question. Thus, it has been removed.

  • Thank you for this interesting question. I have two of my own. 1) Why do you think the first remark in brackets needs the brackets at all? It seems to fit the syntax that leads to it and is part and parcel of what is being described. 2) Similarly, I do not understand why the second sentence needs to be in parenthesis.
    – Tuffy
    Mar 8, 2023 at 22:05
  • @Tuffy I'm not the writer. I must deal with what the writer gives me without editing. This question is more about expanding my knowledge regarding what is the preferred method than it is about correcting what has been presented. (Whoever down voted - that seems a bit harsh - this question isn't useful? Doesn't show effort?.. that's what new user questions get ya at a lot of SE sites. This is not my first rodeo.)
    – Scott
    Mar 8, 2023 at 22:55
  • I am sorry if I gave you the impression that I thought you were the author. I was careful to write in the abstract to avoid this. The questions in themselves are legitimate ones. I should have added that the use of parenthesis is not strictly a matter of grammar. They enclose asides. Many publishing organisations have their own 'style guides' to ensure consistency among those they publish. Also, I should have responded more directly to your question 2. I agree with you that the use of adjacent brackets is eccentric, though I know of no rule that forbids it.
    – Tuffy
    Mar 8, 2023 at 23:15
  • Is it good form (best practice)... ? What do you mean by this? I'd suggest avoiding it if possible, and many style guides criticise excessive use of brackets. Often there are alternatives. But there may be good reason for it, and I don't know anyone that forbids it.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 9, 2023 at 0:10
  • 1
    .. the flagging down voting has shown me how I can better treat new users at the stacks I more commonly visit. Y'all are harsh.
    – Scott
    Mar 9, 2023 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


As you suspect, the period should go outside the closing parenthesis in your first sentence. CMOS 14th ed. section 5.14 says:

When parentheses or brackets are used to enclose an indpendent sentence, the period belongs inside. When enclosed matter comes at the end of an including sentence, the period should be placed outside the parentheses or brackets.

(Note: The question has been edited so that the previous part of this answer is no longer relevant. I'm leaving it here only because it's short, and therefore hopefully harmless, and just in case that part of the question gets revived.)

As for your second question, yes, you may have two adjacent statements in parentheses. It might look odd to you, but there is no blanket rule prohibiting it. Of course, if it might be distracting to the reader, then feel free to reformat (for example, by placing the latter text in a footnote).

  • +1 Thank you for this. I edited the question to remove the passing punctuation part. Seems as things were skimmed by users that's all they were seeing.
    – Scott
    Mar 9, 2023 at 0:38
  • @Scott Thanks for letting me know. I've added a short note in the answer. Mar 9, 2023 at 3:19

According to this answer, the Chicago Manual of Style encourages avoiding back-to-back parenthesis, instead suggesting separating the clauses with a semicolon.

Additionally, when accounting for your question's footnote and writing the sentence(s)[1] as:

... a decrease in thingamabob (after squeezing out all the water). (I posted about this online) ...

This becomes one sentence with a parenthesised clause followed by a new sentence that begins with parenthesis, which appears even more unwieldy. I believe reworking the sentence(s) to not necessitate two back-to-back sets of parentheses would indeed be the more "correct" option.

[1]: lightly reworked

  • Thank you. This was all what I was thinking, but... I'm not a writer or editor. I can find it difficult to challenge those who are when things like this present themselves.
    – Scott
    Mar 9, 2023 at 18:12

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