Define the use of Parentheses and Brackets

Define the use of parentheses in the sentence structure guidelines. CC_ID 06150

Avoid parentheses, except when they are more reliable than commas in setting off a phrase where there is possible uncertainty as to how the ideas that follow the phrase are linked to the ideas that precede it. Example:

  • Define the key recovery point when back-up operations (and their subsequent restoration operations) will occur.

Parentheses should be used to set off an internal reference to the citation where a term is defined. Example:

  • Do not send communications (phone calls, e-mails, physical mail) after a subject has opted out of communications.

Always precede an acronym with the full dictionary term followed by the acronym in parentheses. Example:

  • Establish and maintain Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with each service provider.

Define the use of brackets “[ ]”, “{ }”, and “< >” in the sentence structure guidelines. CC_ID 06151

There are two types of brackets that we've seen in policies standards and procedures.

The first set of brackets, the square brackets, have been in use for quite some time within conventional writing. These should be used when clarifying a quote from someone, "place the tapes the ones you just took out of the tape library into the container and seal it before shipping", or something (say directions from China on how to put together shelves that you don't want your neighbor, who purchased the same shelves, to suffer through). In the example, the brackets help clarify which tapes need to go into the container.

The newest type of brackets are the diagonal ones “< >”, which used to be simply mathematics symbols for less than and greater than, respectively. However, the usage we see most often is that of enclosing a URL. Hence, in this context these brackets are denoting everything that must be copied in order for the URL to function correctly.

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