parentheses

parentheses
 Parenthetical matter can be thought of as any information so incidental to the main thought that it needs to be separated from the sentence that contains it. It can be set off with dashes, brackets (usually reserved for explanatory insertions in quotations), commas, or, of course, parentheses. It is, in short, an insertion and has no grammatical effect on the sentence in which it appears. It is rather as if the sentence does not even know it is there. Thus this statement from The Times is incorrect: "But that is not how Mrs. Graham (and her father before her) have made a success of the Washington Post." The verb should be has.
 While the parenthetical expression has no grammatical effect on the sentence in which it appears, the sentence does influence the parentheses. Consider this extract from the Los Angeles Times (which, although it uses dashes, could equally have employed parentheses): "One reason for the dearth of Japanese-American politicians is that no Japanese immigrants were allowed to become citizens - and thus could not vote - until 1952." As written the sentence is telling us that "no Japanese citizens could not vote." Delete could not.
 When a parenthetical comment is part of a larger sentence, the period should appear after the second parenthesis (as here). (But when the entire sentence is parenthetical, as here, the period should appear inside the final parenthesis.)

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

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  • parentheses — n. (esp. AE; BE prefers brackets) 1) to put smt. in, into parentheses 2) between, in parentheses * * * in parentheses into parentheses (esp. AE; BE prefers brackets) to put smt. in between …   Combinatory dictionary

  • parentheses —    Parenthetical matter can be thought of as any information so incidental to the main thought that it needs to be separated from the sentence that contains it. It can be set off with dashes, brackets (usually reserved for explanatory insertions… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • parentheses — pa·ren·the·sis || pÉ™ renθɪsɪs n. the characters ( ); text enclosed in parentheses; act of isolating by parentheses (Syntax) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • parenthèses — n.f.pl. Avoir les jambes en parenthèses, avoir les jambes arquées. / Pisser entre parenthèses, avoir une miction douloureuse …   Dictionnaire du Français argotique et populaire

  • Parentheses — Parenthesis Pa*ren the*sis (p[.a]*r[e^]n th[ e]*s[i^]s), n.; pl. {Parentheses}. [NL., fr. Gr. pare nqesis, fr. parentiqe nai to put in beside, insert; para beside + en in + tiqe nai to put, place. See {Para }, {En }, 2, and {Thesis}.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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