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Ambergold
12-05-2006, 08:27 PM
Hello all:

Since coming to this forum I've learnt a great deal. I just had a quick question. Is this the correct way to use brackets?

And the one time she raised her fist in rage was to the only person (aside from her father) who cared. She lowered her head and stared at the bits of fluff on her bed sheet.

Duncan J Macdonald
12-05-2006, 10:54 PM
Hello all:

Since coming to this forum I've learnt a great deal. I just had a quick question. Is this the correct way to use brackets?

And the one time she raised her fist in rage was to the only person (aside from her father) who cared. She lowered her head and stared at the bits of fluff on her bed sheet.
First of all, what you are using are parentheses, a sub-set of brackets. Parenthetical use from the Perdue University (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_overvw.html)web site:




Parentheses are occasionally and sparingly used for extra, nonessential material included in a sentence. For example, dates, sources, or ideas that are subordinate or tangential to the rest of the sentence are set apart in parentheses. Parentheses always appear in pairs.
Before arriving at the station, the old train (someone said it was a relic of frontier days) caught fire.


Essentially, information placed in parentheses can be ignored without deleterious effect.
Proper use of square brackets. From Library Online (http://www.libraryonline.com/default.asp?pID=31):


The proper use of brackets in writing.

Brackets [ ] … not to be confused with parentheses ( ) are used:

To enclosed words and phrases independent of the sentence; as in, explanatory notes, omissions, and comments that are not written by the author.

Examples:

They arrived in America and in the following year [1931] founded one of the first plastics manufacturing plants in the country.

Through all the obstacles, he [Henry] remained optimistic about the future demand for the automobile.

EDITED to remove anti-bracket prejudice, and to add an utterly fascinating[1] article on brackets of all kinds from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracket).


Types of brackets include parentheses or round brackets ( ), box brackets or square brackets [ ], curly brackets or braces { }, and angle brackets 〈 〉.

[1] I'm a geek, as I've mentioned before. I really do find this sort of article fascinating. Sad, isn't it.

Ambergold
12-05-2006, 11:38 PM
Thank you Duncan, your advice is much appreciated. I think that I will simply remove the parentheses from the sentence as the information is quite important.

DeadlyAccurate
12-14-2006, 08:15 AM
I'm a parenthetical aside writer, but I was determined not to put them into my books. If you do a search of my posts, you'll see that probably a good portion of them (probably about 80%)* have parenthetical asides in them. I love them.

*Yes, that was on purpose.

Judg
12-14-2006, 10:28 PM
I would use commas in this case, personally.

Carmy
12-19-2006, 08:59 PM
I would use commas in the example you gave, Ambergold.

Brackets and parentheses are the same. It's a UK/US thing.

Ambergold
12-20-2006, 12:00 AM
I would use commas in the example you gave, Ambergold.

Brackets and parentheses are the same. It's a UK/US thing.


Thanks Carmy, I thought as much.

dobiwon
12-22-2006, 12:27 AM
Has anybody else seen square brackets used for parenthetical phrases when the phrase already contains parentheses? For example:

Eric read all of the books [all of them published in the same year (1999)] before he went back to San Francisco.

Duncan J Macdonald
12-22-2006, 03:04 AM
Has anybody else seen square brackets used for parenthetical phrases when the phrase already contains parentheses? For example:

Eric read all of the books [all of them published in the same year (1999)] before he went back to San Francisco.Yes. In offical documents you nest parentheses alternating with brackets.

Carmy
12-22-2006, 07:42 AM
Yes, in non-fiction, but never in fiction.