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7.37 Use within parentheses

When one set of parentheses is to be placed within another, replace the inner parentheses with square brackets (though dashes may be used instead—see 7.33 Parentheses within parentheses). Parentheses within parentheses should be used sparingly, however, except in legal and scholarly texts and specifically for letters and numerals referring to subsections of a document:

  • Acadia (from Algatem ["dwelling here and there"])
  • (See section 14(i)(c))

Square brackets may also be used in place of round brackets where two or more sets of the latter would otherwise occur in succession:

  • in 3(a) [according to Bixby’s enumeration] . . .
  • Here, f(x) [c. s. 8.3] reaches a maximum when . . .