Parentheses /pəˈrɛnθɪsiːz/ (singular, parenthesis /pəˈrɛnθɪsɪs/) are also called "brackets" (UK, Ireland, Canada, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia), "parens" /pəˈrɛnz/, "round brackets", "circle brackets" or "smooth brackets". Parentheses contain adjunctive material that serves to clarify (in the manner of a gloss) or is aside from the main point. A milder effect may be obtained by using a pair of commas as the delimiter, though if the sentence contains commas for other purposes, visual confusion may result. That issue is fixed by using a pair of dashes instead, to bracket the parenthetical.
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