Parentheses Exercise (7)
All but one of the following sentences demonstrate incorrect style for parenthesis; revise placement and capitalization as necessary:
Answers and Explanations
Parentheses serve to set aside additional information that is tangential to surrounding text. When words, phrases, or incomplete sentences are in parentheses, lowercase them, and capitalize and punctuate complete sentences in parentheses.
Original: I had the same experience last year (my story differs only in the details).
Correct : I had the same experience last year (My story differs only in the details.).
Alterna.: I had the same experience last year. (My story differs only in the details.)
If a complete sentence in parenthesis appears within another sentence, it should be capitalized and followed by terminal punctuation. Better yet, relocate the parenthetical sentence to follow the terminal punctuation of the external sentence as well: "I had the same experience last year. (My story differs only in the details.)"
Original: Steven Spielberg’s (Schindler’s List, Munich) latest film is a lighthearted one.
Correct : The latest film by Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List, Munich) is a lighthearted one.
When parenthetically noting a person’s representative accomplishments, recast the sentence if the parenthesis follows the possessive form of the person’s name or a possessive pronoun.
Original: He pitched for the team for five seasons (1994–1998).
Correct : He pitched for the team for five seasons (1994–1998).
This sentence was originally correct.
Original: After locking the front door (Not that it mattered anymore), she hurried to the car.
Correct : After locking the front door (not that it mattered anymore), she hurried to the car.
Do not capitalize an incomplete sentence in parentheses.
Original: This manual will show you how to fix 1) widgets, 2) gadgets, and 3) gizmos.
Correct : This manual will show you how to fix (1) widgets, (2) gadgets, and (3) gizmos.
When enumerating items in a run-in list, frame the numbers in a pair of parentheses rather than placing a closing parenthesis after the numbers.