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  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Parentheses

    A sentence from a law journal article:

    "The Laeken Declaration on the Future of Europe identified "Europe's new role in a globalized world" as one of the two key challenges facing the Union (the other was the challenge of democracy and accountability)."

    I'm wondering if the clause in parentheses is an independent clause. If so, is it corrent to enclose it in parentheses like that? How about these two possibilities?

    ...challenges facing the Union. (The other was the challenge of democracy and accountability.)

    ...challenges facing the Union (the other being the challenge of democracy and accountability).

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Parentheses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    A sentence from a law journal article:

    "The Laeken Declaration on the Future of Europe identified "Europe's new role in a globalized world" as one of the two key challenges facing the Union (the other was the challenge of democracy and accountability)."

    I'm wondering if the clause in parentheses is an independent clause. If so, is it corrent to enclose it in parentheses like that? How about these two possibilities?

    ...challenges facing the Union. (The other was the challenge of democracy and accountability.)

    ...challenges facing the Union (the other being the challenge of democracy and accountability).

    Thanks.
    I agree with your choices, with a preference for the second. A footnote would be another option if the document itself is footnote-heavy, as is often the case with legal documents.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: Parentheses

    I totally agree.

    A fourth option could be to remove the parentheses, and rephrase as you have for the second choice, using either an em-dash or a comma. However, that does raise the importance of "the other" in the sentence to equal footing instead of being... well, a footnote or a parenthetical comment.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: Parentheses

    Thank you both for your replies.

    I'd still like the know if the original sentence is correct. I was thinking that if "the other was the callenge of democracy and accountability" is an independent clause it cannot be placed in parentheses, but I don't think it is because it doesn't express a complete thought. If you remove it from its context the reader would probably ask himself, "the other what"?

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Parentheses

    From what I have read, you can have an independent clause entirely in parentheses, but it should start with a capital letter and end with a period, all within the parentheses. The original would be incorrect, in my experience. Your corrections are both okay, though.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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