Use of Brackets
Brackets are used for a number of purposes:
Use #1: Sometimes, you may wish to clarify or add to an original quote. Put words that are being added to an original quote within brackets.
Original: She said, “I found their services invaluable.”
Amended: She said, “I found their [IT] services invaluable.”
Always put the changes in brackets, not parentheses. This tells your readers exactly how you have altered the original.
Use #2: Use brackets as parentheses within parentheses. You will see this with bibliographic references.
Example: (For more on the topic, see The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation .)
Use #3: Use brackets to show the pronunciation of a word.
Example: He mispronounced mischievous [mis-chuh-vuhs].
Use #4: Use brackets surrounding sic and italicize it.
Example: She wrote, “They made there [sic] beds.”
The Latin term sic is used to indicate that something written is intentionally left in the original form, which may be incorrect.
Place brackets where needed.
- (For more details on brackets, see The Chicago Manual of Style 2003.)
- He has difficulty correctly pronouncing nuclear noo-klee-er.
- The instructions read, “Be sure to tighten it’s sic lid securely.”
- (For more details on brackets, see The Chicago Manual of Style .)
- He has difficulty correctly pronouncing nuclear [noo-klee-er].
- The instructions read, “Be sure to tighten it’s [sic] lid securely.”
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Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2007, at 5:54 pm