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Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–).  The Columbia Guide to Standard American English.  1993.
 
BRACKETS (SQUARE, ANGLE)
 
 
Brackets ([ ]), also called square brackets, are marks of punctuation that have three main purposes. (1) In quotations they distinguish material added to a quotation, such as disclaimers of responsibility for a misspelling in the original text (“it was a seperate [sic] meeting”) or to further explain quoted matter (He said, “I read my favorite novel [War and Peace] every year”). (2) Brackets also serve as parentheses within parentheses in text (or as parentheses around parentheses in complex mathematical equations). (3) Conventionally, square brackets set off phonetic symbols (Phone begins with an [f] sound). Angle brackets (< >) are sometimes used for these same purposes, but much less often. See BRACES; PARENTHESES; PUNCTUATION.  1
 
 
The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Copyright © 1993 Columbia University Press.

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