Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Question about these things: { }

We always used to call these { } “wavy brackets.” Are they ever legitimately used in non-mathematical writing as, say, within-a-sentence punctuation?

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They're generally called "braces" (brackets are [these things]). Checking the Chicago Manual, I see only mathematic uses for them.

They're also used in programming a lot, fwiw.

Adam_Rice Mar-09-2004

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Hmmm. I think "wavy brackets" is the Southern U.S. vernacular. :)

speedwell2 Mar-10-2004

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I've seen them used (rarely) to distinguish nesting levels in intricately parenthesised sentences (like {to put forward a hypothetical example} this). Though I can't say I've seen it more than a very limited number of times (I think there's a few in R. Hume's Treatises, but he also uses extensive footnoting, to the point there's a few pages with a few lines of body text and mostly footnote text).

Ingvar Mar-22-2004

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I've almost always heard them called curly braces or curly brackets.

Abby Mar-27-2004

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Yes, they are called braces. And you can generally disregard them, because an extra set of parenthesis tend to work fine if you need to double enclose something.

Adam is right. They're used a LOT in programming.

Ryan_Huddleston Mar-28-2004

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At http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000685.html
in the MIT Bookstore's letter is a use of braces, to let the smiley stand out I guess.

Matt2 Apr-03-2004

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I call them "wavy gravy, " but then I also call hamburgers "Steamed Hams."

Furthermore, the Northern Lights sometimes appear locallized in my kitchen.

Seymour_Skinner Aug-06-2004

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